Monday - December 13th
Scripture to Read Today: Luke 2:1-7
When the set time had fully come,
God sent his Son, born of a woman,
born under the law.
When Lesli and I were expecting our first child, Jonathan, her pregnancy lasted one week beyond her due date. The doctor decided to put her in the hospital for a few hours to give her Pitocin to help start her contractions. We lived in Limerick, Pennsylvania, at the time. The baby was to be born forty minutes away at Norristown Hospital.
The doctor monitored Lesli in the hospital from around 9:00 in the morning until about 5:00 in the afternoon. She decided to let us go home and let nature take its course (now that it had been nudged a bit). She thought the baby would come in the next two days and made plans to induce if he didn't come in that period. We were home for about four hours, and Lesli's water broke. We were back at the hospital before midnight.
Everyone there told us the baby would probably be born 12-18 hours later. Boy, were they wrong, at precisely 4:26 a.m. (just over four hours after arriving at the hospital), Jonathan William Thornton was born. We, of course, were thrilled. We were parents of a healthy baby boy! He was late, but right on time.
When the Bible describes God's Son's birth in Bethlehem, it describes his arrival as being right on time. "When the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law" (Galatians 4:4). God had woven His plan of sending a Messiah to be the Savior of the World over the centuries. He had covenanted with Abraham and His descendants to be the nation from which the Redeemer would come.
God demonstrated through the Old Testament Temple, Law, Sacrifices, and Priesthood that humans are sinners in need of a savior. Throughout Israel's history, God demonstrated His faithfulness to His people - even when they were unfaithful. Through various prophets, God declared the coming of the Messiah - both a suffering servant and a conquering king. The Messiah would be the final high priest, the boldest of prophets, and the greatest of all kings.
As Luke 2:1-7 unfolds, Israel lives under the Roman Empire's oppression, the nation's religious institutions had been perverted for human gain, and Abraham's descendants were, in general, demoralized. Mary and Joseph have to travel to the city of his family's lineage for a new Roman census to tax the people more. They were forced uncomfortably to Bethlehem by foreign oppressors. Mary was full term. It was not a pleasant trip. There was nowhere to stay. They take shelter in a stable. Then, at that moment...that moment, "Mary gave birth to her firstborn, a son" (Luke 2:7).
Galatians 4:4 indicates the baby had perfect timing. He arrived at just the right time to be your Savior and mine! What hope we have in that baby’s birth!
By the way, each of our kids was born at least a week late. Jon was just the first. But, with the arrival of each (Jon, Katie, and Megan), Lesli and I fell in love with each little gift from God!
The Son of God arrived at the very moment God intended. His salvation for you and me is perfect in every way.