My Quiet Times have been spotty and I do not like this. I get to reading God’s Word almost every day but I don’t spend the time needed to truly consume it. This morning however, I made time to sit down and not only read the passage (Luke 2:1-7) but also do a little study on the timing of the Birth of Jesus.
IN THOSE days it occurred that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that the whole Roman empire should be registered. This was the first enrollment, and it was made when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all the people were going to be registered, each to his own city or town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee from the town of Nazareth to Judea, to the town of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, To be enrolled with Mary, his espoused (married) wife, who was about to become a mother. And while they were there, the time came for her delivery, And she gave birth to her Son, her Firstborn; and she wrapped Him in swaddling clothes and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room or place for them in the inn. Luke 2:1-7 [AMP]
I try not to put all of the verses I have read through in a post like this but it is hard to point to what I learned without it. The Bottom-Line-Up-Front (BLUF) is that God works through all kinds of circumstances and people to effect His purposes. As I read and do my quiet times, I highlight every passage I read…I also underline the words/phrases that I think flow together to form the message and then I will read through again, looking at those underlines, to see what the context is IN (The authors point), AROUND (What was happening), and OUTSIDE (History) the passage to make sure I am taking it in appropriately. You can see how my bible is marked up here in Luke below
So, as I read through and looked at a commentary to help me understand the history of the this actual time period in relation to the Roman empire (Roman governors were very well educated and took great notes). What really made an impact on me was the specific circumstances that led to and surrounded the birth of Jesus our Savior. Because Bethlehem was surrounded by fields for grazing sheep from visiting shepherds for the census, there were more shepherds than normal. The humble situation that Jesus was born into (manger) was brought about by the lack of vacancies in Bethlehem. The orchestration of the aspects of God’s work is amazing…so that everything fits into place with His intention and fulfilment of scriptural prophesy. I again, am so thankful for God’s word so that we can learn all of these things as we seek His character and intention in our lives.