DON’T KNOCK SMALL PLACES: God uses small places and small things to produce big results. People often ridicule other people who come from small places as though big is good and small is insignificant. Some people on the East & West coasts of the U.S often refer to those living in the middle of the country in a derisive manner as if the people in the middle of the country are insignificant as compared to the people on the coasts. And they often think people in the middle are less educated and overly religious. I think people in the first century at the time of the birth of Christ might have felt the same way about Bethlehem. Probably only those Jews on top of their biblical studies would have thought of Bethlehem Ephrathah as the coming birthplace of their Messiah. But God had plans. “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 old, from ancient times.” (Micah 5:2 NIV)
Just as God saves the worst of sinners to show the extent of His grace so God uses small things and places to show the extent of His power and strength and wisdom. God had plans to use one of the small towns in Judah as the arrival point for one who would rule over Israel and the world. Yes, the baby born in Bethlehem would actually be the God of and from eternity. But very few people of Jesus’ day really understood how significant this event would be for the human race. And very few people today, when compared to the six billion plus people in the world, really understand the true significance of the birth of the Christ child. Billions of dollars are made commercially each year off of the celebration of this event of 2000 years ago and Santa & Rudolph seem more prominent than Jesus. The town in which Jesus was born is a site of political conflict and the Middle East is a region of the world that could explode with war at any time.
But let us take this time of year to celebrate the birth of Christ our Savior who was placed in a manger in a small town in a small country far from the United States. And let us recognize the significance of this event in the course of human history that would change God’s relationship to mankind for all eternity. And let us give thanks that God would reach down and touch the heart of such insignificant people as you and me (in the world’s eyes) and bring us into a relationship with the living God and make us significant in His sight for all eternity. In the end there are no insignificant or small people or places with God. Did He not make that point in Bethlehem 2000 years ago?