But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose origin is from of old, from the ancient of days. Therefore he shall give them up until the time when she is in labor has given birth; then the rest of his brothers shall return to the people of Israel. And he shall stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God. And they shall dwell secure, for now he shall be great to the ends of the earth. And he shall be there peace.

Micah 5:2-5 ESV


O little town of Bethlehem… The words are so familiar. Bethlehem was a small town in the hill country of Judah. Too little to be among the clans of Judah. A small town of little significance and yet, the birthplace of King David. Perhaps the least likely place fit for a king.

God seems to love the least likelies of this world.

Many years before Micah prophesied these words, there was a young boy tending sheep in Bethlehem. He was the youngest son of Jesse (1 Samuel 16:1-13) and the least likely of Jesse’s eight sons to rule over anything. But God chose him to rule Israel.

Then Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all your sons here?” And he said, “There remains yet the youngest, but behold, he is keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and get him, for we will not sit down till he comes here.” And he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy and had beautiful eyes and was handsome. And the LORD said, “Arise, anoint him, for this is he.” Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. And the Spirit of the LORD rushed upon David from that day forward.

1 Samuel 16:11-13 ESV

 

From David’s descendants another King would come. From you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose origin is from of old, from the ancient of days.  He wouldn’t come in pomp and circumstance. Not at all in the manner He was expected. No fanfare. No palace.

He was born in a manger. Perhaps the least likely place fit for a King. Against the backdrop of a stable, God became flesh. Ten fingers. Ten toes. Swaddled and cradled in hay was the Ancient of Days.

Do I look for Him there? In the small, insignificant places? In humble faces? Do I see Him in the least likelies of this world?

O God, quicken my heart to You. Open my eyes to see You even when and where I least expect to find You. Strip me of all judgment and teach me Your everlasting ways. Train the eyes of my heart so that I don’t miss the miracle that is You. In Your most precious name I pray, Jesus, Amen.