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Why Bethlehem - Part 1

Turning Point / David Jeremiah
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December 8, 2020 12:24 am

Why Bethlehem - Part 1

Turning Point / David Jeremiah

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December 8, 2020 12:24 am

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One of the most significant group in history to present briefly. One of the least significant locations in the country.

Blue Turning Point. Jeremiah takes a closer look at the tawny rural village benches like this is far more important than from the series. One is his message. Why I have been in Bethlehem more than once, and I have to tell you it is unremarkable when you go there and you realize this is the birthplace of the Savior of the world you wonder couldn't have found a better place than this. It's not on main highway. It's kind of tucked back in to the hills. It's now very protected because of the situation in the Middle East, but there's something about that place when you go there you feel like you're walking on holy ground or special church there. They tell me that on Christmas Eve in Bethlehem. This totally lit with with lights on all the buildings and it's a really celebratory thing. I would love to be there sometime on Christmas Eve. I don't know if I'll ever get that done.

But talk about Bethlehem Bethlehem house of bread. That's what it means end of the Bible says it was the least of the cities, and yet in this unannounced and unimportant and un-Special Pl., Jesus Christ was born in the world has never been the same. Talk about Bethlehem today and tomorrow. Right now we need to get started with our discussion of Bethlehem, so here's part one of his mighty life during the season of the year to direct your attention to some of the Christmas themes that are so familiar to all of us and you would think after doing this for all these years that I would get tired of it and wonder how I could ever come up with something else to say about Christmas that we haven't already said, but you know the Bible says God's mercies are new every morning and every time you see them. You see something else and so at Christmas time we open our eyes and through the experiences that we've had since last Christmas, we once again view the word of God. We ask this question. Why did Jesus become a man. Maybe we could extend that question today and ask this question. Why did Jesus become a man in Bethlehem. Why Bethlehem Episcopal preacher by the name of Phillips Brooks attended a five hour Christmas Eve service back in 1865, which he attended by traveling by horseback from Jerusalem to Bethlehem and at the Church of the Nativity, which is still there in Bethlehem, Phillips Brooks sat and listened to the celebration of Christmas for five hours every Christmas song.

That is a part of the sacred story was presented and he said that night as he heard again the splendid hymns of praise to God and again and again. He seemed to hear the voices that he had remembered singing praise to Almighty God. He fell in love again with the wonderful night of the Savior's birth. Three years later he decided he wanted to write a him for the children of his congregation to use in the celebration of Christmas and he began to think back to that night, three years before when he had spent those five hours in Bethlehem and before he was finished reflecting on it.

He wrote the words to the him all the little town of Bethlehem, how still we see the lie above thy deep and dreamless sleep.

The silent stars go by. Yet in thy dark street shyness and everlasting light hopes and fears of all the years are born in the night Bethlehem is a place that was selected by God before the world began for the historic event that would 1 Day Take Pl. The town of Bethlehem. As I mentioned still exist today. Although the passage of time left its mark upon the city when the registrants filled the city that first Christmas there probably work more than maybe a thousand people living in Bethlehem today in the city of Bethlehem. There are 15,000 inhabitants, most of whom worked in the tourism industry and take care of people like us when we come to see the Church of the Nativity at all of the other things that go back to the historic events of the Scripture. But the question today is why Bethlehem why out of all of the cities that could have been chosen was Bethlehem chosen for the birth of our Lord. One would think that Jerusalem would be the ideal place for Jesus to have been born. But Bethlehem, the name is musical. The image is comforting and it brings happy carols and quiet nights, but why would this unpretentious village play host to a scene so eternally beloved by all of God's people was here in Bethlehem that the Virgin mother gave birth to the infant son of God. It was here in Bethlehem that Christ took upon himself the flesh and blood of mankind, and it was here that he assumed the form of a servant, and became like unto his brethren. The Bible says that Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the city of Beckley have the events that are recorded in Matthew and Luke concerning the birth of Jesus took place, but all are so much more than just Matthew and Luke's words to understand the significance of the city of Bethlehem you have to reach deep into the history of the Old Testament for first of all, the city of Bethlehem was prepared for the birth of Christ. Historically, the city of Bethlehem is mentioned in the Old Testament 35 different times in 11 different books over a period of some 1300 years Bethlehem was first of all, a place of sorrow in the history of the Old Testament. There are many stories that relate to the city one concerns the relationship between Jacob and Rachel and their family.

In Genesis chapter 48 in verse seven, when Jacob was dying. He recalled an event that had taken place with his wife, Rachel, and he penned these words but as for me when I came from. Then Rachel died beside me in the land of Canaan on the way and there was but a little distance to go in an effort to and we buried her there on the way to Ephrata. That is, we buried Rachel in Bethlehem the first time Bethlehem is mentioned in the Old Testament is in connection with the birth of a son, and the last time it's mentioned in the New Testament is in connection with the birth of a son Jacob's son and the son of God Wilbur Smith, one of the great students of the word of God says that no woman in the first thousand years of Hebrew history was in love with the passion and adoration that Rachel was loved by her husband, Jacob four years. However, Rachel was tormented in her life because every time she would see her sister Leah give Jacob one son after another and she herself was childless, she was tormented but then one day we continue to read in the book of Genesis and in the 30th chapter of the book of Genesis we read this story concerning this tormented woman. Then God remembered Rachel. That's a great phrase is then God remembered Rachel and God listen to her and opened her womb, and she conceived and bore a son and said God has taken away my reproach. So she called his name Joseph and said the Lord shall add to me another side and the Lord did give Rachel another son, but in giving birth to that son Rachel died. The record of her death is recorded in detail in Genesis chapter 35. Here we read the story of what happened to this woman as she was giving birth to her second son, and they journeyed from Bethel and when there was but a little distance to go to Africa. Rachel labored in childbirth and she had hard labor. Now it came to pass, when she was in hard labor that the midwife said to her, do not fear you will have the son also. And so it was, as her soul was departing for. She died that she called her sons name then on I but his father called him Benjamin.

So Rachel died and was buried. On the way to Ephrata. That is, she was buried in Bethlehem, and Jacob set a pillar on her grave, which is the pillar of Rachel's grave. To this day. Not having read that you may wonder what in the world.

It has to do with Christmas. What it has to do with Bethlehem, but stay with me for a moment.

This is an amazing story for many reasons.

First of all, it's the longest account of the death of a woman in the Bible. Five long verses describe the death of Rachel. Secondly, Rachel is the first woman in the biblical record to die in childbirth. This is the first occurrence of the use of the word grave in the Bible and it is the first time a gravestone was erected over a grave as Rachel died she called her sons name then only which in the Hebrew means son of my sorrow. Centuries later, in this very place. Another would be born who would be called the man of sorrows. This one who was born in the place where been known I was born would also carry our sorrows in his own body and because of his birth.

We now when we lose someone in death sorrow, not as others who have no hope. And one day because he was born where been owned. I was born we will go to a place where there will never be any sorrow again forever and ever. Jacob never forgot the death of Rachel. In fact, when he finally died some 30 years later, he recalled with vivid detail the moment of sorrow and Bethlehem. That's the verse we read if the very beginning from Genesis chapter 48 and verse seven. But the story continues even after the sorrow of Rachel and the sorrow of Jacob. The story continues 1100 years after Rachel's death a prophet by the name of Jeremiah wrote these words in Jeremiah 3115. Thus says the Lord of voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping, Rachel weeping for her children, refusing to be comforted for children because they are no more Matthew in the New Testament connects the words of Jeremiah with another time of great sorrow in Bethlehem. Watch how this works.

Matthew 216 and 18, says this then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wisemen was exceedingly angry and sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all of its districts.

All of the children from two years old and under, according to the time which you determine from the wisemen. Now notice then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying, a voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, weeping, and great morning, Rachel weeping for her children, refusing to be comforted, because they are no more Matthew connects the birth of Jesus with the death of Rachel's son Matthew looks back to Jeremiah and Jeremiah takes us all the way back to Genesis. It's almost as if you start in the book of Genesis and you have a thread and you connect that thread all through the Scripture from Genesis all the way to Matthew the story of the birth of Christ in the historic city of Bethlehem. Jeremiah calls forth the ghost of Rachel to remember the sorrow and suffering that would 1 Day Take Pl. when the innocence were destroyed in Bethlehem how the world is one ever reconcile the glorious birth of our Savior with the blood a massacre of all of the male children under two years of age.

Hear me carefully, and the contrast of death and life is the picture of redemption that is proclaimed in the birth of Jesus. Our God was not responsible for the massacre of those children, but he was responsible for sending one into the world who could buy his own life and death make it possible for those who die physically to live eternally in the death of the babies and the birth of Jesus is the picture of why Jesus had to come into the world in the first place until we see our Lord's birth against the backdrop of the massacre in Bethlehem. We will never realize why it is so important for him to come.

He came to rid us of the ugliness of sin and there is no picture of the ugliness of sin like the infanticide at Bethlehem even today in our culture when we read of little children being tortured or mothers killing their own offspring or children being abducted our hearts are filled with anger because it represents the ugliness of the world of sin and here in this picture of Bethlehem is the killing of babies and the birth of the baby who will put an end to all of that ultimately Bethlehem is not just an accident. It's not just incidental, it's all a part of the sovereign plan of God. Bethlehem was a place of sorrow, but as you continue to read the Old Testament.

Also, place of selection in the book of first Samuel we read story that's very familiar to most of us is the story of the selection of David to be the king of Israel. We read in first Samuel 1712.

Now David was the son of that effort fight of Bethlehem in Judah, whose name was Jesse and he had eight sons and the man was old and advanced in years. In the days of Saul little Bethlehem provided Israel with its most enduring hero Samuel prophet had come to Bethlehem in the Scripture says he had been sent there by Almighty God to select the king of Israel who would succeed.

The man chosen King Saul.

So David would be the first God chosen King. The book of first Samuel records how the prophet came to the house of Jesse and me carefully sized up all of the young men of the household is godly.

I finally fell upon David and the shepherd boy who was out in the field and wasn't even in the house when the examination took place, the least likely to succeed. Here Samuel announced was the raw material of a popular King.

There stood one who was destined to be known as the man after God's own heart from shepherd to king. What an amazing story that was in Bethlehem, the king of Israel was selected. Now watch carefully. Bethlehem became known as the city of David. Jesus is called the son of David through the city of Bethlehem flowed the lineage and the scent of our Savior in the night that Jesus was born in Bethlehem.

Another king was selected he wasn't selected to be king of Israel. He was selected to be King of Kings and Lord of lords is Bethlehem an interesting place, not only a place of sorrow and selection also place of salvation.

One of the wonderful stories of the Old Testament is found in the four chapter book called Ruth and Ruth chapter 4 verse 11 we read these words all the people who were at the gate and the elder said we are witnesses. The Lord make a woman who is coming to your house like Rachel and Leah who built the house of Israel and may you prosper in Ephrata and the famous Bethlehem here we are in Bethlehem again from the time that Jacob spoke of Bethlehem as he was about to die.

There's no important reference to the city for many years and then all of a sudden you open the book of Ruth and here in this little book, the city of Bethlehem is mentioned seven times the book of Ruth presents to us. One of the most perfect pictures in all of the Old Testament of the redeeming work of the Lord Jesus Christ bowl as a rich citizen of Bethlehem was the near kinsman of Naomi and by law was bound to redeem the inheritance of the deceased relative and marry his widow. You can read the story of Ruth. I don't have time to tell it all to you today, but we read in Ruth 413 so Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. The words redeem redemption and kinsman redeemer occurred 19 times in the four chapters of Ruth and Ruth is only mentioned one time in all of the New Testament you be surprised where it is.

You know where she's mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus Matthew chapter 1 verses five and six. Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab Boaz begot Obed by Ruth Obed begot Jesse, and Jesse begot David the king the whole story of the Old Testament leads up to the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem was the story of Jacob and Jesus was from the descent of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the story of the selection of David comes David and Jesus is called the son of David, and in the story of Ruth we meet this woman.

And in the genealogy of Jesus.

She is mentioned as being in the line of descent of our Savior, and the one thing that connects all of these together is Bethlehem. Why Bethlehem will the city of Bethlehem was prepared historically and the city of Bethlehem was prepared symbolically in Micah chapter 5 in verse two we have the Old Testament prophecy that tells us that Jesus is going to be born in Bethlehem. Let's remind ourselves what it says but you all Bethlehem Ephrata are only a small village in Judah, yet a ruler of Israel will come from you.

One whose origins are from the distance past now in the verse you will see that Bethlehem has two names Bethlehem and Ephrata. Two names two meanings Bethlehem means and always has meant the house of bread the house of bread his child. Jesus would later be called the bread of life and he would say I am the living bread which came down from heaven. In John chapter 6 what other place but the house of bread would produce such a person as Jesus. Think often of them beautiful Christmas song O Little town of Bethlehem house still, we see the lie that is a good inscription to be at the bottom of the picture of that city of very inconspicuous place, but a holy place where Jesus was born and is relearning other things in history happened there that are also of value for us to know tomorrow will finish up our discussion of Bethlehem and then one of the most enigmatic questions asked at Christmas time. As the story is told is this one. Why was there no room in the in will spend Thursday and Friday on that question.

As we move through the month of December answering the questions that surround Christmas trying to bring back to our memory.

The importance of Christmas as it really was meant to be. So often we forget that Christmas is not just a commercial celebration, but it is based upon a very spiritual and doctrinal truth that God became man. Jesus came into this world and tasted human flesh became one of us and went to the cross. The incarnation is step one of the crucifixion and the resurrection and the ascension sold for sure and join us tomorrow as we continue our discussion of why Bethlehem and if you like more information about other materials that we have concerning Christmas. I hope you will go to our website and discovered the ceiling here tomorrow for more information on Dr. Jeremiah's commissaries like the nativity, please visit our website with those I find to revise the help you stay connected monthly magazine Turning Points and elevating email devotional enough to value David Jeremiah thought over/ready that Jeremiah thought/writing when you do ask for a copy of Dragon 365 day devotional for 2021 fiscal strength minutes for medical treatment for the yearly and the gifted and EMS and to keep the spirits right through the holiday season. Visit the home for Christmas candlelight 10 3000 Christmas music videos, messages and behind for Christmas gentle and tending. TV and Gary Hercules. Please join us tomorrow as we continue the series brought the nativity detail in Turning Point.

Jeremiah taking time to listen to trim piece in question

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