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Why Bethlehem
December 23, 2017      |     By: Sam McVay, Jr.      |      Category: Sermons

Sam challenges: use 2018 to find out what God made you for. Let's set our hearts to prayer, to community, and to discerning why you were put here, why you were gifted and what is your purpose.

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Micah 5:2 (NIV)
2 “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.”

King David was originally a shepherd from Bethlehem.

Micah prophesies, after David, that another “Ruler” out of the tribe of Judah would be born in Bethlehem.

Last week we identified, “Why Judah?”
Leah named her 4th son - “Now I will Praise the Lord”

But the question this week, as we meditate the birth of Jesus is: “Why Bethlehem?”
To answer that we need to read another verse from the Prophet Micah: Micah 4:8

Micah 4:8 (ESV)
8 And you, O tower of the flock, hill of the daughter of Zion, to you shall it come, the former dominion shall come, kingship for the daughter of Jerusalem.

Micah prophesied not only what city Jesus would be born in but also where in that city: Luke 2:7-18

Luke 2:7-18 (ESV)
7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
8 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear.
10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.”
16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger.
17 And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child.
18 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them.

The Tower of the Flock was just on the edge of Bethlehem overlooking a valley where sheep grazed. This watch tower from ancient times was used by the shepherds for protection from their enemies and wild beasts. It was also the place ewes were safely brought to give birth to the lambs. In this sheltered building/cave the priests would bring in the ewes which were about to lamb for protection. These special lambs came from a unique flock that was designated for sacrifice at the temple in Jerusalem.

Who were these shepherds?
Why the angel announcement of the birth of Jesus to them?

The shepherds in the fields of Bethlehem who first heard the Good News from the angels were not ordinary shepherds but most likely served in raising animals for the sacrificial system of the Temple.

They knew exactly of what and where the angel was speaking.

They knew Micah 4:8.

The Tower of the Flock is believed by some to be the place where the sacrificial lambs where born, in “mangers” and then put in swaddling cloths.

The Tower of the Flock is a likely prophetic place for Christ to be born.

Typically, "Migdal Edar", (the tower of the flock) at Bethlehem is the perfect place for Christ to be born. He was born in the very birthplace where tens of thousands of lambs, which had been sacrificed to prefigure Him. God promised it, pictured it, and performed it at "Migdal Edar". It all fits together, for that's the place the place where sacrificial lambs were born! Jesus was not born behind an inn, in a smelly stable where the donkeys of travelers and other animals were kept. He was born in Bethlehem, at the birthing place of the sacrificial lambs that were offered in the Temple in Jerusalem which Micah 4:8 calls the "tower of the flock."

Why Bethlehem?
1. Jesus is the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world as John the Baptist preached.
2. Jesus is the true king from the line of David.
3. Jesus is the Great Shepherd who watches over our souls.

Related Resources

Testimonies : Responding in Child-Like Faith
Sermons : Why Bethlehem?
Primers : Knowing Your Position
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