Week 28 Day 7
Finding God in the Mysteries of every day
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Luke 2: Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all [a]the inhabited earth.
Isn’t it amazing the things God can use to accomplish His purposes in the world? If you read the bible with an open mind and an open heart you will quickly see that God is able and willing to use the most unlikely people and the weirdest circumstances to accomplish His ends. When you think about Caesar and his demand for a census you could probably look to his background as a warrior/politician to understand why he would do such a thing.
David took a census once and God did not appreciate the fact that he went ahead and did that without consulting (praying to) Him about it. (1 Chronicles 21:1) Although God did command several cencuses beginning in the time of Moses the reasoning behind those may not be immediately clear. Most probably the idea of readiness for battle would be the most likely.
Caesar in his opulence and arrogance commanded the census. Rome had become dependent upon the produce of the empire to feed the masses in the city. There were food riots in the city periodically from 100 BC to around AD 400. He needed to know just how to balance peace in the colonies with the appetite of the city. (Recall here the idea of “bread and circuses” to pacify the masses.)
God used this bit of political hubris to move Mary his chosen vessel and her betrothed Joseph to the place long prophesied to be the birthplace of the Messiah. (Micah 5:2 circa 725 BC) Little Bethlehem, not much of a place, in a marginalized and colonized shabby nation would be the beginning place of a hope and light that is still changing the world today.