Tuesday, December 20, 2016

A Special Plan for a Little Town

O. T. #890  "A Special Plan for a Little Town"
Dec. 20, 2016
1 Chronicles 6-Part2
But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall He come forth unto Me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.  Micah 5:2


Hey, I missed something back in chapter 4 that kept jumping out at me for attention. It is found in verses 1-4. One of the sons of Judah, named Hezron, had a son named named Hur. This Hur, along with Aaron, held up Moses's arms all day so Israel would have victory in a battle with Amalek in Exodus 17.

Hur's mother was named Ephrath, whose family was from the town of Bethlehem. What I found was Bethlehem was also called Bethlehem-Judah and Bethlehem Ephratah (mentioned in Micah 5:2, predicted Jesus birth some 700 years before). I hope I am getting this all straight, since there were so many branches on Judah's family tree.

Anyway, I recalled several notable things about Bethlehem in Israel's history according to Young's analytical concordance to the Bible:
  • It was the place where Rachael as buried.
  • Rehoboam fortified or rebuilt it.
  • David was born there, so it is called the city of David.
  • It is celebrated as the birthplace of the Savior, Jesus Christ. Also, it was located about 6 miles south of Jerusalem. (Daniel 9 predicted Jesus the Messiah.)
  • In Hebrew, Bethlehem means House of Bread.

God chose the least of all cities to host the birth of His Son, and chose the least of society (shepherds) as the first witnesses. (David Jeremiah)

Why was Jesus born in Bethlehem and not in Jerusalem?
Luke 2 tells us that the Roman Empire took a census and collected taxes at this time (about every 14 years). Mary and Joseph had travel about 80-100 miles from their hometown of Nazareth to Bethlehem because Joseph was of the lineage (a descendant) of David. That is where David was born, so Joseph had to go there to register his family.

I think it illustrates that Jesus came in humility, not born in a palace as a king, but in a barn/stable in a little insignificant town of Bethlehem, a servant of God. This was no coincidence as it was the time for Mary's delivery, either. God had it all planned out, the time and place of our Savior and Jewish Messiah. Little Bethlehem became a significant in biblical history.

Do we stop to think that God has a special plan for our life, and a place and time for our birth and death? He has a plan for our life to have influence in our little world? For some it may be far away from our place of birth, as my husband's case. He was born several hundred miles from where we live.


Now back to chapter 6. Ezra jumps around in his chronicle. He leaves the family and sons of Judah, and speaks of the family of Levi. He was Judah's brother. Levi's lie was chosen to be the line of high priests in Israel.
Verses 1-15 records the first section of those born before the exile to Babylon. The second section, verses 16-30, records the clans of Levi, detailing 7 sets of 2 generations  and 1 set (Kohath) for 10 generations.

It was the children of Aram, Levi's son, who were Aaron, Moses, and Miriam. It was Aaron's linage that is important in the priesthood.

Some notable priest mentioned in biblical history are:
  • Eleazar, served as priest during Moses and Joshua's time. 
  • Phinehas, son of Eleazar, also served Joshua.
  • Zadok was the first priest to served under kings David and Solomon.
  • Hilkiah was the one who discovered the Book of the Law during Josiah's reform of the Temple. These were of the line of Aaron.
Descendants of other Levites included a man named Elkanah, husband of Hannah and father of Samuel. Samuel had a huge influence  Kings David and Solomon.

 What kind of influence will our families have in kingdom work? It may skip generations so don't get discouraged if our children or grandchildren are not active in the ministry.  Let's pray for God to use our family through generations to come. I continue to pray for mine and hope t be able to live long enough to see those prayers to come to fruition.


Pray for God's will to be carried out in my children and grandchildren, as well as my great grandchildren.

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