This is a message that I gave a few years ago. It’s a little long so I will be posting it up in sections.
Bethlehem! What in the world is in Bethlehem?
Years ago, my wife and I went to a town in Arkansas about fifty miles away from Little Rock called Hot Springs. It’s an interesting place, perhaps you have heard of it. If the name doesn’t ring a bell, let me describe it to you.
Hot Springs is named after the naturally occurring hot springs that flow out of the hillside. It was once a resort town. It held several large hotels and was quite a booming place in the 1920’s and 30’s. Does any of that help you to know why it’s important? No, well perhaps the name of its most famous resident will help you out.
Bill Clinton…Yes, President Bill Clinton was raised in Hot Springs. It was his boyhood home. Really, other than the springs themselves, Hot Springs doesn’t really have anything else to boast about. They are proud of their most famous citizen though! When we were there, Bill Clinton was in his second term as President. Signs and banners were everywhere proclaiming “Home of President Bill Clinton!”
It was in a town that had no other claim to fame than “The boyhood home of King David!” that God chose to bring His Son into this world.
2 “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.”
In Bethlehem! Small and insignificant among the tribes of Judah with nothing special to look at and no real claim to fame other than David, what did it have to offer the world? In fact, at the time of Christ, if you were a traveler in a caravan and blinked, you would miss it. Yet, it was outside of this place that God spoke in a way that has never been seen or heard of since.