Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 address in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, is a classic American speech. Lincoln gave it to dedicate the memorial where 60,000 soldiers died in the Civil War. Gettysburg is a small village but it has great significance. Another small town with even greater significance is the tiny town of Bethlehem in the Holy Land. The prophet Micah paid tribute to Bethlehem when he wrote in Micah Chapter 5, “But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, are only a small village among all the people of Judah. Yet a ruler of Israel will come from you, one whose origins are from the distant past. The people of Israel will be abandoned to their enemies until the woman in labor gives birth. Then at last, his fellow countrymen will return from exile to their own land. And he will stand to lead his flock with the LORD’S strength, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God. Then his people will live there undisturbed, for he will be highly honored around the world. And he will be the source of peace.” Of course, Micah was predicting the birth of the Messiah who arrived some 700 years after the prophet lived. Jesus gave the small town of Bethlehem notable significance. For it was there that God became human in the Messiah so that He could offer eternal salvation to the entire human race. Never has a small town had such enormous significance.
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