“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting” (Micah 5:2, NKJV).

Another prophecy fulfilled. And how did that come about? Did the players contrive to make that happen? Hardly!

Caesar Augustus thought he was in charge when he sent out a decree requiring everyone to be counted and taxed, each in the town of his own family’s heritage. This forced Joseph and Mary, who was “great with child,” to make the rough journey to “the city of David,” which we can imagine was the last thing they wanted to do at that particular time.

“While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born” (Lk 2:6, NIV).

That’s how it came about. Which teaches me an important principle:

Man makes his plans, but God’s really in charge. Even “the king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases” (Pro 21:1, NIV).

When things seem out of control—or rather in the control of even unscrupulous people with seemingly more power than they know how to use rightly—God is nevertheless in charge. He is relentlessly bringing about His purposes, just as He did in the workings of that long-ago, long-prophesied event. And what a purpose that was! Praise to God for the Savior Who was born in that little obscure town, just as the He had promised!