• New Hope Church

2021_07_12 Insight Post- Kim Feld

This week's reading- Luke 2

When I watch or read the news, it’s easy for me to become overwhelmed by the chaos I see. Things often seem so entirely out of control, and I can become fearful about the days to come. But then I read a chapter like Luke 2, and I remember that God truly has the whole world in His hands. God is never caught by surprise, never has to “pivot,” nor does He have to develop contingency plans. The angel Gabriel reminded Mary of this in Luke 1:37 (NLT):

“For the word of God will never fail.”

The prophet Isaiah also had this to say about the power of God’s plans in Isaiah 55:11. I like the Amplified Bible’s translation of this:

“So will My word be which goes out of My mouth; It will not return to Me void (useless, without result), Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.”

I can’t imagine being ready to give birth and needing to take a 90-mile trek on foot and/or riding on a donkey, but that’s what Mary experienced. Luke’s biography is the only one that addresses the census that required Mary and Joseph to travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem at this precise time. I can only guess that Mary and Joseph viewed this as inconvenient at best. Still, because Palestine was under the rule of Rome, they needed to comply. The people were being taxed by Rome, and the census aided the tax collection. But because God is ultimately in control and His plans will not be thwarted, the timing was such that Jesus was born in Bethlehem. Why does this matter?

The coming of the Messiah had been predicted hundreds of years before it happened. Devout Jews who knew the scriptures were on the lookout for Him and knew what had been prophesied about Him. Micah 5:2 states that the One they were looking for would be born in Bethlehem:

But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, are only a small village among all the people of Judah. Yet a ruler of Israel, whose origins are in the distant past, will come from you on my behalf.

There are a many Old Testament prophesies (many scholars put the number at 300+) about Jesus that His life fulfilled. The statistical likelihood of that occurring is off the charts (Google it – it’s fascinating!). My point is that although we may think that the events shaping our lives are random or even that God is somehow asleep on the job, if we believe what God’s Word says, we couldn’t be further from the truth. God is in control, always.

Kim Feld

Executive Director of Education and Outreach