AND IT CAME TO PASS
A DIVINE BLESSING IN DISGUISE
SUNDAY APRIL 15, 2018
Scripture To Consider:
“And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered everyone to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child [pregnant].”
“So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room in the inn.” Luke 2.1-7
Something To Consider:
“And it came to pass…” Every event in our lives has been orchestrated or allowed by God’s divine providence, as in the lives of Zacharias, Elizabeth, Joseph, Mary, and now Jesus of Nazareth. Though this event could easily have been looked upon as nothing more than a hardship in man’s eyes, it was a divine blessing in disguise. For the birth of Jesus had been prophesied to take place in Bethlehem. So God used a Roman ruler to set the world’s stage for the entrance and introduction of Jesus, the real ruler of this world.
How many seemingly difficult hardships have come to pass in our own lives, only later to pleasantly be described as blessings in disguise? How many times have we fought against those difficulties unnecessarily? And yet we find they certainly came to pass according to God’s Word. But, we must not miss what it is that God was and is softly speaking to all leaders in training in every generation.
Jesus, the Word of God who came in the flesh, will later remind His followers that His Father in heaven makes or allows the sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and that His Father sends rain on the just and on the unjust. In other words, hard times and difficult days do come to the child of God. But in coming they also come to pass.
The unpleasant and seemingly untimely journey away from home, family, friends, as well as familiar sights and sounds, could not have come at a more trying time for Joseph and Mary. But it did come! It did come to pass, prophetically and physically. But that trying time did not last forever, just as those difficult days in our own lives do not come to last forever when thought of in the span of a lifetime or in light of eternity. They too come to pass, and in passing, many become cherished blessings in disguise.
Something Else To Consider:
What was it that God was doing in the sending of His Son of whom we call Jesus? The many answers could range from saving the world to His establishing His kingdom upon the earth. But, did Jesus come to save the world? Did Jesus come to establish His kingdom upon planet earth?
Well, is all the world saved? No! As Jesus predicted, only a few in every generation have entered into the narrow, straight, and at times very constricting gate that leads to eternal life. Has Jesus established His kingdom upon earth? No! According to Jesus in Luke 17.21 the kingdom of heaven is within those who have believed. That is, wherever Jesus is, there is the kingdom of God!
So again, I ask what was God doing in the sending of His Son Jesus to come in the flesh to planet earth? May I be so bold as to suggest that one of the reasons for His coming was an outright rejection of the established religion and earthly kingdoms man had arrogantly created that were grossly misrepresenting God to the people seeking God! God was rejecting their misinterpretation of His Old Testament Word. God was rejecting their hypocritical traditions that were being elevated above His Word. He was rejecting their prideful and polluting system of worship that existed in order to increase the financial coffers of the organized religious systems.
Could it be then, that Jesus, in His second and possibly very soon coming again, be for the final purpose of once again rejecting the same misrepresentation of God and of His Word that He rejected in His first coming? Therefore, will Jesus come in rejection of the established religion and earthly kingdoms man has foolishly created that actually alienate men, women, and young people from God and God from them?
Could it be that Jesus, in His second coming, will be coming in rejection of the deceiving misrepresentation of God to the people who have been sincerely seeking God? Could it be that in Jesus Christ’s second coming to earth that He will be rejecting the arrogant, prideful, and corrupt religious systems that have been created by man in order to fleece the flock of God rather than to feed the sheep of God’s pasture as did Jesus faithfully in His first coming? This is indeed something else for us all to consider!
Something More To Consider:
“So it was that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she [Mary] brought forth her firstborn Son…” Jesus was born in a borrowed stable and placed in an animal’s feeding through. He, who had been at the right hand of God the Father at the time of creation, was at His birth wrapped in swaddling cloths or burial grave garments and laid in what history has called a manger. Jesus was born among barnyard animals because there was no room in the comfort of an inn.
Even at His birth we are reminded by the wrapping Jesus in burial cloths, that He was born into the world in order to die for the sins of the world and to give every person in every generation a way of escaping the bondage to sin and eternal death. Jesus came to reveal the truth about God in the midst of so much misrepresentation of God. He came to expose the religious scam of that day and age and to teach us to observe all things that He taught and represented as truth concerning God the Father, the Word of God, the Holy Spirit, and the true kingdom of God!
In 1 Samuel 15, Saul was rejected as king by God for his pride, arrogance, and thinking more highly of himself than he ought. God opened the veil of divine providence in His selecting a replacement for King Saul. It is a most rewarding story beginning in 1 Samuel chapter 16. “Now the LORD said to Samuel, ‘How long will you mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go; I am sending you to Jesse the Bethlehemite [citizen of Bethlehem]. For I have provided Myself a king among his sons.’” After some debate by Samuel the prophet he did as he was commanded by God and went to Bethlehem to the home of the future king of Israel.
But when Samuel entered the home of Jesse his eyes fell on his eldest son, but the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart. Thus Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. And Samuel said to Jesse, ‘The LORD has not chosen these.’” It was apparent that Jesse was holding back a younger son and Samuel discerned this knowing that God had chosen one of his sons to replace Saul as king over Israel.
Finally, Jesse brought in his youngest son David who was out in the field keeping his father’s sheep. And the LORD said to Samuel, “Arise, anoint him; for this is the one!” Then Samuel did as the LORD had commanded and anointed David with oil in the presence of his brothers who had been rejected by God and we are told, “And the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward.” Centuries later another Son would be anointed by the Spirit of God having been born in the little town of Bethlehem as was David. Just as God ordained David to be king over Israel and rejected Saul and David’s brothers, Jesus would ultimately be rejected by man as the Son of God.
What appeared to be a hardship for Joseph and Mary was in reality a divine blessing in disguise! Think for a moment about our own lives and our own circumstances seemingly beyond our control as with Joseph and Mary. There in Bethlehem, Jesus, born in obscurity, prepared by God Himself behind the scenes, and yet rejected, as many of us true children of God who have also been rejected by man, but chosen by God to become sons and daughters of the living King of kings, Jesus.
A Few Final Words:
How many times have we as David, and as Jesus, felt as though we were hidden away in obscurity, seemingly wasting away in the mundane situations of life that appear to be totally beyond our control? How many times as with Joseph and Mary, it seems as if nothing more than human hardships is pressing in and around us? And yet, as children of God, we are heirs and joint heirs with Jesus Christ of whom at His return we will rule and reign with Him as did David.
We are not forgotten by God as we live our lives in obscurity. It could be we are being protected from the cruelty of corrupt organized religion by our not being selected for positions of leadership. Or we could be being prepared by God for another time and place altogether!
For us as enduring to the end true believers we can rest assured that whatever comes into our lives as we approach these very possible end times, it has and will come to pass! And no matter how difficult or how seemingly impossible the apparent hardship, in time every struggle will eventually become a divine blessing in disguise!
When our more than a Samuel style prophet and our more than a David style King comes, we will not be overlooked even in our obscurity. Let us therefore leave room in our hearts for Jesus and His overall eternal plan for our lives. For leaders in training, in all their training, should learn to leave room in their lives for the unexpected and seemingly insignificant life shaking and yet life shaping events.
Our Father in heaven, above every other event in our lives, may there always be room in our hearts for Jesus of Nazareth, always. In Him Always, Amen!