'Day One' Blog

Bethlehem ~ Set Apart – Dec. 16

Meditation for the Soul ~

Rachel died and was buried
on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem).
~ Genesis 35:19 ~
The man’s name was Elimelek,
his wife’s name was Naomi.
They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem, Judah.
~ Ruth 1:2 ~
The Lord said to Samuel,
“How long will you mourn for Saul,
since I have rejected him as king over Israel?
Fill your horn with oil and be on your way;
I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem.
I have chosen one of his sons to be king.”
~ 1 Samuel 16:1 ~
David went back and forth from Saul
to tend his father’s sheep at Bethlehem.
~ 1 Samuel 17:15 ~
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
though you are small among the clans of Judah,
out of you will come for me one
who will be ruler over Israel,
whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.”
~ Micah 5:2 ~

Reflection for the Mind ~

Bethlehem was ground-zero for some significant pieces of history throughout the Old Testament. It was just a small town in Judah until God elevated it to prominence, using it as a backdrop that would ensure its notoriety for the rest of time. It means house of bread aptly named as the place where the Bread of Life would come into the world. There is a beautiful continuity through the entire lineage of Jesus that’s tied to Bethlehem. The texts written above say as much.

What I find remarkable in God’s plan of redemption (particularly in the Christmas story), is that there is not one detail that is insignificant. That includes the little town that shows up periodically throughout God’s whole narrative. Sometimes there is nothing short of priceless, hidden treasure in details that wouldn’t ordinarily capture our attention. I believe God is eager to reveal those treasures if only we would linger in the story with Him.

Perhaps today you would linger in your remembrance of Bethlehem. Not because Bethlehem is a wonder in and of itself, but because God chose this place. Every person or place or thing that God chooses to be part of His great story He chooses purposefully. And I believe no matter where we would stop within the story there’s something to be learned about our great Savior. Look for Him as you meander through the streets of Bethlehem today.

Response for the Heart ~

Lord, most often I move through the Christmas story so quickly I miss the details. But this is Your grand story, and no detail should go unnoticed. Frankly, I move through the details of my own life too quickly too! Help me find treasures you’ve tucked away and saved for those who would not be in a hurry. I have an idea they are hidden right under my nose. I don’t want to miss anything You have for me… and I’d like to be aware enough to help others find their own treasure!

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2 Comments

  • Lori

    1

    Anne, thank you so much for these beautiful insightful devotions! What a blessing they are for me, I look so forward to them! Merry Christmas to you & John!

    • Anne Barbour

      2

      Thank you, Lori! Merry Christmas to you and your family! I'm grateful these devotionals have had some meaning for you!

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