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)
Today's Morsel: Each city has a meaning for the name given to it and for its existence. Many cities are named after some famous explorer or hero, while others are named for their location. They say that you can learn a lot about the attitude and lifestyle of people based on the city where they live, and who the founder of the city was.
Bethlehem, which is the city of David, lies about five miles south of Jerusalem. It was here that Jacob buried his wife Rachel. It was here that Ruth gleaned in Boaz's field. It was also here that David was anointed King of Israel. And it was here that Christ was born in a manger, and the place the wise men came seeking the Savior.
Bethlehem, the city of bread. Jesus said, "I am the bread of life" (John 6:35). Did Jesus make this comment because He was born in Bethlehem and so He was from the city called bread? No my friend, He made this comment because He is the true bread that came down from heaven, the bread of life. But because of God's plan to come to the earth, being born of a virgin, and establish His church, He chose the city which David, a man after God's own heart, had been anointed, Bethlehem Judah. The littlest among the thousands of Judah, but yet out of it would come forth the one to be the Ruler in Israel. Israel represents the church, and Jesus came to earth to establish and rule His church, not some earthly kingdom. As He told Pilate, "My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence." (John 18:36). The only Kingdom Jesus is going to set up on this earth is in you, when He fills you with His Spirit. Paul said, "For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost" (Romans 14:17). Who rules you?
Sing: O little of town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie; above thy deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by: Yet in the dark streets shineth the everlasting light; the hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.