December 9: Known

Micah 5:2 AMPC
But you, Bethlehem Ephratah, you are little to be among the clans of Judah; [yet] out of you shall One come forth for Me Who is to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth have been from of old, from ancient days (eternity).


Bethlehem was literally described as one of the most insignificant communities in the land of Judah. “Ephrathah”, whose name means “fruitful” is a place-name comparable in our culture to the name of the country inclusive of the town.

The Jewish people divided their country in a way that for every thousand there was a chief captain. But Bethlehem wasn’t even able to make it to a thousand. “And yet out of you” God chooses it as the birth place for Messiah.

All I can focus on today is how God, who created the heavens and the earth and all that is in it, knows it (and us) so intimately well that He could place His finger on the tiniest spot. Picture having all of Google maps laid out before you and being able to drop a pin on a place like Bethlehem. Not by random selection or coincidence, but because you know the entire landscape and all its intricacies so well that even though others may write that little space off as irrelevant, you see it as “fruitful”.

Today I find great comfort and peace in knowing that what I may consider trivial, negligible, too small to come to God with, He already knows intimately well and can cause that tiny little place to be the birthplace of something incredible.

I’ve heard it said that one of man’s greatest fears is to be known but not loved. Tim Keller said, “to be loved but not known is comforting but superficial.” But this Christmas, as we see nativity scenes and picture Bethlehem, remember this: in God, we find both. We are intimately known and deeply, deeply loved.