In Genesis 12, we meet a man by the name of Abraham. He was known at that time as a Chaldean, but we know his birthplace today as Iraq. God gives to this man two very significant promises that we know today as the Abrahamic Covenant. The first part of the covenant states that from this man, there will come an entire nation, which will bless the entire world. The second part of this covenant states that God will give these people a very significant piece of land. Today, we know this land as Israel.

It is interesting to follow the history of these people and their land. Both the people and the land God promised to them have been a source of tension and controversy from the very beginning. Initially, the land God promised them was not theirs. It had been settled by other people groups and the Jewish people had to drive them out. This piece of history is given to us in the Book of Joshua. There has been controversy over this land ever since. It was a very significant piece of land, used by Egypt, Syria, Rome, and a host of other people. It was Rome that eventually claimed the land, and the people became such a thorn in Rome’s side, that the emperor of Rome and the Senate, charged Titus, a Roman military leader to destroy the city of Jerusalem and drive the Jewish people from the land that God had told Abraham that He would give them. Thus came the great diaspora, where the Jewish people migrated to any land that would accept them. These Jewish people never had a home again until 1948, when the United Nations recognized the Jewish nation that we now call The Nation of Israel.

During the time that Rome had control of this land, Almighty God, who had given the land to the seed of Abraham, took action. The results of the action God took has deeply impacted the world for over 2,000 years.

In the Northwest corner of Israel is a small village called “Nazareth”. It was, and is, a small and isolated village. The village is not a place of history or significance. In fact, it was said of this village, “can anything good come out of Nazareth”? However, one day an  angel, whose name is Gabriel, came into this insignificant place. He came into a home that has no history nor is the family that lived in this home even named, but there was a girl, whom Gabriel sought out. All we know about her is her name. [Luke 1:27] With no formal introduction, this is what Gabriel says to this girl: “Hail favored one! The Lord is with you.” Can you imagine the emotional response of this girl? She was an insignificant person, in a land that had experienced nothing but trouble since it was inhabited by her people many years ago.

The message of Gabriel to this girl was; “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. And behold you will conceive in your womb, and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great, and He will be called the Son of The Most High, and The Lord God will give Him the throne of His Father David, and He will rule over the house of Jacob [Israel] forever; and His Kingdom will have no end.”[Luke 1:31-33]

I have shared a small bit of the history of this land that God had promised Abraham, and a small bit of history of the seed of Abraham, showing that this land and its people had been trampled on for hundred of years. However, in spite of all the tension in the world around Nazareth, The Eternal God was still in charge, and sought out this insignificant person who would be the vessel through whom His Son, Jesus, would come to our troubled world.
How did Mary respond to the message Gabriel had just given her? “How can this be, since I am a virgin”? Gabriel said to Mary, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you, and for that reason the Holy Offspring will be called the Son of God”. Mary’s response was so simple: “…may it be done to me according to your word”. [Luke 1:28-38]

I never cease to be amazed at this bit of history. Around this young woman the powers of the largest nations in the then known world fought each other for power. Rome sought dominance for control. The Ptolemies of Egypt fought back. The Maccabee’s had brought turmoil to the region that lasted for 150 years. The Seleucid dynasty that controlled much of Alexander the Great’s empire fought for this bit of land given to Abraham’s seed. In the midst of all that was happening, God initiates His plan for world dominance by sending Gabriel to a small village tucked away in the hills of Galilee. The nations and their rulers would laugh at this event which seemed so insignificant in comparison to the exercise of the power that they exerted. But, looking at it today, where are any of those leaders and the authority they represented?

Mary, with her engaged groom to be, Joseph, traveled to Bethlehem, under orders that came from the leaders of Rome. It was there that again, in a most insignificant village called Bethlehem, Mary gave birth to the child that Gabriel promised to her. There was no room in any place of convenience for this Son to be born, so in a most insignificant place, a stable, God entered our world, as a babe. No nobility were present, only shepherds. The angels of heaven had come to them as they watched over their flocks that night and the surprised them with the message of a new power that had just entered this word of confusion. “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased”. Peace? In a world where its superpowers are all fighting for control? Peace, during all this tension? Peace, because a babe has been born.

All I can say is “yes” because that is what the angels were ordered to sing when this babe, promised by Gabriel and sent from heaven by God, entered the world.

Again, we live in a world that is filled with such tension. The peace that the angels sang about that night did not mean that the world powers of that day would all shake hands and go home. It did not man that all conflict would go away. This babe, when He was grown, defined what the angels sang about. “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give unto you, not as the world gives, give I unto you. Let not your hearts be troubled, nor let it be fearful”. [John 14:27]

There is no way that any of us can deny that this event happened. The question that must be answered is, have I allowed this babe, This Son of God, This Savior of the world to rule in my life? The day will come when He will rule over this world, but today He seeks entry into your life. Only you hold the key to that door.

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