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December 8, 2020 12:27 pm
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The story is true, with examples of God using the ordinary to accomplish the extraordinary medical's book, people and places the Turning Point of the Jeremiah returns the little town of Bethlehem and have it fulfilled prophecy about cross amazing accuracy to the conclusion of this message like Bethlehem is friends were studying the Nativity were studying the incarnation were studying and enjoying and reviewing everything we know learning some things we didn't know about the birth of Jesus. All of these messages start with the word why and it's from a little book. I did some years ago for Tyndale House: why the Nativity there are 25 of these altogether. We can do all of them in December but were picking some of the more prominent ones and right in the middle of a discussion of why Bethlehem Bethlehem is place you would not go to unless you had something to do there. It was away from Jerusalem. Not a big city. The Bible calls it the least among cities, and yet here in this humble place the Savior of the world was born.
Why why is that part of the story and why Bethlehem well, let's get back to Bethlehem and find out what we need to know about this little 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, the world is one ever reconcile the glorious birth of our Savior with the bloodied massacre of all of the male children under two years of age.
We 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 in 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 world of sin inherent in this picture of Bethlehem is the killing of babies in 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 reading first Samuel 1712.
Now David was the son of that effort fight of Bethlehem.
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 Proffitt 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 for Sandy records how the prophet came to the house of Jesse, and 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 dissent 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 fourth 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 the woman who is coming to your house like Rachel and Leah who built the house of Israel and may you prosper in Ephrata and be famous in 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 roof and Ruth is only mentioned one time in all of the New Testament you be surprised. Where 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 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 dissent 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 dissent 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 in 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 and 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 its 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. But what about the other name Bethlehem Ephrata and the word Ephrata is a much older name for the town of Bethlehem and it means fruitfulness. Ephrata is a word that means to be fruitful, so to a hungry time and a thirsting world came the bread of life who teaches us to have a fruitful life in his behalf, our Savior was born for the hungry as the bread of life he was born for the helpless and now he comes to us as our Savior. So Bethlehem was prepared historically the roof and David and Rachel and all the story the Old Testament that finds its commonality in the city Bethlehem was prepared symbolically by its very name the house of bread. But perhaps the most amazing thing about the city is yet for us to discover that is that the city was prepared prophetically with the birth of Christ, we have alluded to Micah's prophecy, but I want you to catch the importance and the amazement of this prophetic utterance because in many respects Micah 52 may be the most amazing prophecy in all of the Bible. Micah said that Bethlehem, least of all the cities in Judah would become the birthplace of Christ, nonhuman friends. Micah wrote that prophecy in 722 BC critics who want to destroy the Bible have zeroed in on Micah 52 and they tried to find some way to get it out of the text because it's a great embarrassment to them and there is no way for them to explain what they have not been able to undermine Micah's identification of the birthplace of our Lord, a prediction that was made at least 600 years before the birth of Jesus at the time of our Lord's birth. When Herod gathered the whole Jewish Sanhedrin together and inquired where Jesus was to be born. They responded in Matthew two, five and six in Bethlehem of Judea, for it is written that way by the prophets said later on in the book of John and John chapter 7 in verse 42 we read that the Jews of Palestine were still willing to admit that Micah spoke of the coming Messiah here. They said that Christ comes from the seed of David who was from the town of Bethlehem all throughout the early part of the New Testament we have verification that everyone believed that Bethlehem was the place where Jesus was to be born even as Micah had said it would be 600 years earlier. Sometimes people say well maybe he wasn't born in Bethlehem. Maybe they just made that up. Let me just tell you that five or six different times in the Nativity story Bethlehem is mentioned as the place of the birth of Jesus. Luke the historian says that the holy family went down to Bethlehem and there. Jesus was born. Luke 245 the angel said that the Savior had been born in the city of David Luke 211 the shepherd said let us now go on to Bethlehem and see this thing which the Lord hath done, Luke 215 Herod the great sent the wise men not to Jericho or Jerusalem. He sent them to Bethlehem to see the newborn baby and fearing for his own kingdom.
Herod sent his soldiers to Bethlehem. There was never any doubt on the part of the historians concerning the birth of Christ that Jesus was born in Bethlehem so we have these two facts that we have to reconcile Micah in 722 saying Jesus will be born in the city of Bethlehem and all historians who record the birth of Jesus telling us that that is exactly where he was indeed born. Now let me just try to help you understand the significance of this and the awesomeness of this prophecy. When this prophecy was made when Jesus was on this earth three continents were known to man, Europe, Asia and Africa, Asia, was chosen but Asia has many countries but one country is indicated a little country known as Palestine of Syria. Here, there were three districts in Palestine, Judea, Galilee and Samaria it is Judea that is the correct one and it is chosen by Micah in his prophecy, but here again in Judea are many villages literally thousands of little villages and Bethlehem is the one that is chosen out of all of the thousands of villages in Judah.
The prophet reaches down 600 years before the event puts his finger on a little obscure village in Judah and says in that town. The Savior will come to be born soon. Amazing, amazing truth and once again all it does.
For those of us who study the Scripture is just trauma big underlines under the truth that God's book is a miracle book that this book is full of truth. You can find nowhere else in all of the world. It is the book of God and in the book of God, you have God's miraculous truth being spoken as if it had happened historically six centuries before it actually took place. Choosing from all of the continents. The right one and from the continent the right country and from the country the right district and from the district the right city and then as if there's any doubt as to whether it is Bethlehem of Zebulun or Bethlehem of Judea. The prophet Micah says it is Bethlehem of Judah, aren't you glad that the message of Christmas rests on accurate prophetic truth and historic relevance is not some little Mickey Mouse story. We thought up so we would have something to do around the Christmas tree is the story of God and his coming to this earth so profoundly preserved for us in the Scripture, that those of us who are Christ's followers sit up and take notice that were dealing with something in this book that is like nothing else.
The world knows this is God's book. This is God's truth that Jesus came in Bethlehem and so some of us as we get all of this historic information and try to wrap our arms around what we've heard, we find in our hearts sing and said so what so what he was born in Bethlehem.
So what I think Phillips Brooks captured it for us in the last line of that little song he wrote the hopes and fears of all the years are met here in Bethlehem tonight. What happened when Jesus came in Bethlehem, is the real story where he came was an interesting fact that he came is the exciting truth that he loved us so much that when his father called to him from heaven, and said son I have a task for you to perform. I want you to leave the splendors of heaven, and go down to that dirty speck called earth, and there I want you to live for 30 years and give your life a ransom for those who need to be saved so that I can bring them to my heaven and the Bible says that Jesus said low in the book in the volume of that is book it is written, I will do your will of God and Jesus stepped out of the corners of heaven. In the book of Philippians says he humbled himself, and he came to this earth that he became a man, and became obedient even unto death, and he died on the cross so that you and I might be forgiven. I celebrate actually have my friends because I've been to Calvary, I celebrate the cradle because I have stood beneath the cross. I celebrate the coming of Christ because my sins were forgiven as the result of his coming in the wonderful message of Christmas for all of us is not about all the details. Another important for us to know, for they bring confidence to our faith. The important truth about Christmas is this for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life. So let me ask you a question today. Have you believed in the Christ of Christmas. Have you put your trust in him.
Have you open your heart. Have you allowed the birth of Christ to happen in your heart. Did you know that the Jesus who was born in Bethlehem wants to be born in your heart.
He wants to set up his home within your life and begin to give you direction and strength that I want to tell you it's fresh in my heart that the Almighty God who lives within you in the person of Jesus Christ is able to do above and beyond all that you will ask her thinking he will give you not only the forgiveness of your sin, but he will give you a friendship that is like no friendship you've ever known. You know him today. Have you received him as your Savior. Let me ask you if you will.
If you've never received him, to play a simple prayer with me as we close today.
Just pray this prayer in your heart you not afraid out loud enough to move your lips.
This is just between you and God. But I want to lead you in a prayer that you can pray to receive Christ in your heart and you can do that right now so let's bow together showing father God we thank you that in this Christmas season. There is a message of joy and hope that we can bring to the discouraged people of our generation and that hope is in the person of Jesus Christ and so for those today who have never received you end of their life Lord I pray that you will grant them the faith to pray this prayer honestly in their heart. Dear God, I know I'm a sinner and I know I cannot save myself. I know that you came down to this earth, because you loved me, and you want me to be forgiven of my sin.
You want to wash my heart clean Lord Jesus. I understand that you did this for me and I want to accept your wonderful gift. This wonderful gift of eternal life. I accept you, Lord Jesus into my heart I receive your forgiveness of my sin.
I ask you to help me to live my life so that it will be pleasing to you and Lord God, I know that you have a because you promised that you would.
Father, I want to thank you for everyone who prayed that prayer here today because each holiday season. There are many who come to church and pray that prayer we hear about it over the course of the year. We pray that you will encourage them to be open about their decision to say to somebody today. What they did in the service to share their faith with others to be open about it within the context of the church into find out what God wants them to do next and to be obedient, Lord God, we thank you for what you are doing and what you're going to do me give you praise and honor and glory and the strong name of Jesus I pray, amen and amen. Well tomorrow when you talk about why there was no room in the in.
That's the next why question for why the Nativity the December series here on Turning Point.
Tomorrow will talk about why there was no room in the end, I hope you will be with us as we celebrate Christmas together on turning his message came through from Shadow Mountain Community Church insignia constant of the Jeremiah would love to hear your story of Turning Point impact on your life. Please write to us at Turning Point PO Box 3838, San Diego, CA 92163 or visit our email@example.com/20 ask you a copy of David 365 day devotional for 2021 fiscal strength today. It's filled with truthful each day of the entity was gift of any amount that he keep his spirits bright through the holiday season. Visit the home for Christmas channel at Turning Point TV gets you free source for Christmas music videos and the home for Christmas channel. It Turning Point.TV on Gary.
Hopefully please join us tomorrow as we continue the series like the Nativity tear on Turning Point with Dr. David Jeremiah, thanks for taking time to listen to on tonight from these increasingly more extensive