“But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah, From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, From the days of eternity.” – Micah 5:2 NASB
I love my town, Bellingham Washington. It almost sounds like Bethlehem. But I have talked to a good many young people that long to leave, that are sick of living somewhere that is so out-of-the-way and obscure. They long to move to Seattle or LA or NYC or strangely, Arizona. But God chooses the obscure city, and He chooses it because it is obscure. God works in the midst of the obscure. Jesus was born into obscurity. You think, this is my one life, and I want it to be significant. I want my life to count. I want my life to be significant. We have some idea about what that significance would look like, and it certainly isn’t usually what our current status looks like. But maybe where you are in your obscurity is the place of God’s choosing, the place where the angels will appear blasting trumpets and such.
More importantly, Bethlehem was said in Scripture to be obscure, but because God chose it, it is no longer obscure. It is one of the most famous places in history. It isn’t that it has proximity to a major trade route, or that it has exquisite architecture, or that major battles have been fought there. It is famous because of God’s choice. And so it is with us. Your life may seem insignificant in your own eyes, and your life may be actually obscure. You may live in an out-of-the-way town, working at an insignificant job, in an insignificant career. You may live in an insignificant house in a run-down part of town. You may not be Tom Brady who is has won numerous Super Bowls and is married to a supermodel. But these things do not make you significant. You are significant because God has chosen you. You have received a spirit of adoption by which we cry out “Abba Father” because you have actually been adopted by God Himself. You are specially beloved by the only begotten Son of God.
Look at the people He chose for His disciples. They were all little Bethlehems – too little to be counted as anything by the religious elite. What made them exalted was this: Jesus chose them. And Jesus has chosen us, the church, obscure and struggling and poor, but significant on an eternal scale that is inconceivable. The One whose goings forth are from eternity has given you the rest of eternity in paradise as a gift.
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, 7 casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. – 1Pe 5:6-7 NASB