“So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.” Luke 2:4-7
Since Mary was about to deliver a baby, you might have expected to Joseph to go to Bethlehem for the census and then return to Nazareth. However, Mary was also from the house of David and women 12 years and older were required to pay a poll tax and register. Mary would have been required to go to Bethlehem too. I am sure it was a difficult journey for both of them on foot or by donkey. Then when they arrived in Bethlehem, they found no accommodations available. About then, I think I would have been ready to scream in frustration!
What does this story tell us about God? God was their provider. Let’s look at what God did provided for them. He provided the proper time- they traveled, arrived safely and the baby was born there- no time to return home, delivery was scheduled by God to be in Bethlehem. God provided a kind innkeeper who had compassion upon them and offered them his stable protected from the elements and with privacy for the baby to be delivered. God provided shelter in a stable with a cradle made out of a manger. I have been to the stable area in Bethlehem. It is a roomy cave that is hidden away in the rocks. Perhaps Mary and Joseph recalled Psalm 23 as they looked back at God’ provision. “The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.”
Is God your Provider? God provides for every creature He has made. He feeds the birds and gives us our daily bread We do not have strength or goodness of our own but God gives it to us generously. He provides a way out of temptation and protects us from evil. God’s greatest gift is His Son. Because He gave us His son, we can trust Him to give us everything else we need. Just like Mary and Joseph trusted God to provide for them in their time of great need, God will do the same for us. Do not consider God some kind of cosmic bell hop, bringing you whatever you want. God promises to see to our needs not our wants. One of my favorite promises that brings me great assurance of provision by our provider God is Philippians 4:19 “And my God will supply every need of yours, according to his riches in Christ Jesus.” Trust Him today for your every provision, just as Mary and Joseph did on their trip to Bethlehem.
Trusting in my great Provider ,
This picture is a good reminder to me today!