Partial view of Bethlehem

Mountains of Moab in background

    The town of Bethlehem is six miles to the south of Jerusalem, a little to the east of the main road to Hebron. Both King David and Jesus were from Bethlehem. It is the scene of the touching events related in the book of Ruth. It was here that the good Boaz lived. 

     The little town has an imposing aspect and a commanding site. It stands on the summit of a narrow ridge, which projects eastward from the central mountain-chain of Judah, and breaks down abruptly into deep valleys on the north, east and south. The steep slopes beneath the village are carefully terraced; and the terraces — clothed with olives, vines, and fig-trees sweep in graceful curves round the ridge, regular as stairs. Below these slopes, in the bottom of the valleys, are fields whose fertility give the town its beautiful name, “House of Bread", which is the meaning of the name "Bethlehem". 

     It is little wonder that Divine Destiny chose that the “House of Bread” should be where Jesus, “the Bread of Life” (John 6:48) should be born. 

     The  foundations  of  the  first  creation  were  laid  as  the  stars  sang  and  the  sons of God shouted! Job 38:1-7. Pay special attention to verse 7. It is only fitting that this new creation starting with the birth of the Son of God, “Emmanuel”, is greeted with angels singing “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men”. Luke 2:14. 

     That this virgin birth is announced to shepherds, the lowest of the poor; and wealthy gentiles, Wise Men from the east come to visit this New King, is indicative of His appeal reaching to all strata of humanity. 

     We often look down with disdain on Bethlehem and the Inn Keeper for Mary and Joseph not being given a room. We are all familiar with motels being full in prime seasons. Such was the case here, as so many were interring town to pay their taxes. It is only appropriate that “Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29) should be born in a stable among the cows, horses, sheep, goats, etc. For every Passover offering, this is where the sacrificial lamb came from!! 

     We bend over this infant in that manger in Bethlehem. Those tender, little feet are yet to tread up on a stormy lake and quiet the storms. Those tiny, little hands are yet to open the eyes of the blind, loosen the tongues of the speechless, and cause diseases of all kinds to flee away! That voice, whose gentle breathing is barely heard cuddled in Mary's arms, will later speak to the winds and the waves and they will obey! 

     Who, then, and what was He, whose birth the angels celebrated with such high strains? He is none other than He of whom Isaiah declared, “Unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given . . . His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6 (NKJV) 

     At His birth, mid-night was made as bright as day – at His death noon-day was made as dark as night. When He returns every eye shall see Him as though all the earth were  bright as day!

    Just a Thought Across The Garden Gate by Parson Don.  


 Updated Dec 25, 2011

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