God’s Sovereign Hand

December 20, 2021

Spend time in prayer and silence with God, asking Him to meet with you and speak to you.

Luke 2:1-7

In those days, Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register. 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.


This week we will be looking at Luke’s narrative concerning the birth of Christ. This account seems to have the most detail of the birth of Jesus. It is believed that Luke’s information came directly from Mary. Therefore, most scholars believe that Luke’s account is the most credible. This week we will look at the angelic announcement of the birth of Christ, which was good news for all people no matter their status. It’s of note that the joyous herald was made to the marginalized and lowly shepherds who were working the night shift.

Before we look at this glorious announcement, let’s take a look at God’s sovereign hand in carrying out His divine plan in human history. It was prophesied in the Old Testament that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2). This kind of creates a dilemma. Joseph and Mary were living in Nazareth. This was at least a three-day trip to Bethlehem. No problem! God moves in the heart of the Roman Emperor. God would move the entire world’s population to ensure that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem.

This shows what lengths God would go to fulfill Old Testament prophecy. The test of a true prophet is whether or not his prophecies would come to pass. Micah’s prophecy was written some 700 years before this event. The Old Testament was very clear on the timing and location of Christ’s birth. So why did the religious leaders miss it? The four hundred silent years left Israel without a true spiritual shepherd. I believe this was also intentional on God’s part. The Son of God would come into the world at its darkest hour. This would allow the True Light of the world to shine for all the world to see.

Questions to Ponder

What part of this account of the birth of Christ stands out to you the most? Why? What do you imagine Joseph and Mary’s journey to Bethlehem would have been like? How do you see the sovereignty of God play out in Luke’s narrative? What practical implications does this have for your life?

Spend some time in prayer meditating on what God revealed to you today.