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A Decree Went Out from Caesar Augustus That a Census Be Taken

December 15, 2019


A Decree Went Out from Caesar Augustus That a Census Be Taken

Christians are probably familiar  with Luke 2:1-3,  which says,

Now it came about  in those days  that a decree went out  from Caesar Augustus,  that a census be taken  of all the inhabited earth.      This was the first census taken  while Quirinius was governor  of Syria.      And all were proceeding  to register  for the census,  everyone to his own city.

We hear this Christmas story every year.      In all the activities during Christmas,  it is possible  to not think about  the importance  of these words.      But,  they are faith builders  that we need to  hold onto.      These words  assure us  that God not only kept His promise  of a Savior from all sin,  but that God  will keep  all of His promises to us,  as His beloved children.      This is just one reason  to trust God  for all of our needs  today.

In all of 2 Samuel,  chapter 7,  we read about how God promised David  a descendant  (singular),  who would build  an eternal kingdom.      The particular promise  is in  2 Samuel 7:12-13,  where God says to David,

I will raise up  your descendant  after you,  who will come forth  from you,  and I will establish  his kingdom.      He shall build a house  for My name,  and I will establish  the throne  of his kingdom  forever.

The one descendant  from David’s line,  whose throne will last forever,  is Jesus.      Jesus’ kingdom  consists of every single person  who repents  of his sins,  accepts Jesus’ forgiveness,  and believes  in Jesus as our Savior.      When we believe  in Jesus,  we are accepting Him  as our eternal King  and we will live  in His glorious kingdom  through all eternity.

There are a number of verses saying  that David was from  the town  of Bethlehem.      That does not seem important  until  God led Micah  to prophesy,  in Micah 5:2-5,

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.

Therefore,  He will give them up  until the time

 When she  who is in labor  has born a child.

Then  the remainder  of His brethren

Will return  to the sons  of Israel.

And He will arise  and shepherd His flock

 In the strength  of the LORD,

In the majesty  of the name  of the LORD  His God.

And they will remain,

Because  at that time  He will be great

To the ends  of the earth.

And this One  will be our peace.

The details are awesome!

  1. The ruler comes from God.
  2. That ruler is eternal — from long ago — eternity.
  3. Time will keep marching — until she who is in labor has born a child.      Mary was going into labor  as she and Joseph  reached Bethlehem  and needed a place to stay.
  4. When Jesus preached the word, those who believed in God  started living  in the true faith  and let Jesus  be their shepherd.
  5. People who put their faith  in Jesus lived  in the strength of the LORD.      They preached mightily  and suffered all sorts of trials  as they continued spreading  the gospel.
  6. All those who put their trust  in Jesus  will remain.      That means that  even though they might suffer  a martyr’s death,  they will live eternally  in Jesus’ kingdom.
  7. That promise is  to the ends of the earth.      It doesn’t matter where or when  a believer lives  in faith.      The promises of eternal life  are to all  who trust  in Jesus.
  8. And,  what we all need to know,  this One will be our peace.      This Jesus,  born in the little town  of Bethlehem , is our King of Peace.      Only through Jesus Christ  can anyone  have the wonderful peace  of sins forgiven.

So,  out of all this,  it is marvelous,  that about a thousand years after making a promise to King David,  and about 700 years after  prophesying through Micah — God caused Caesar Augustus  to really want  a census taken.     And,  God caused Caesar Augustus  to demand  that everyone go  to their home town  for the census  at that particular time.

And so,  a virgin and her fiancée  made the trip  to Bethlehem,  where the Christ child  was born — all  according to prophesy.      No one but God Almighty  could ever work  such a wonder.      We can trust the LORD  to keep  all of His promises,  in the way  that is best for us.

Looking to our Savior,  we say,  “Hallelujah!      Lord Jesus,  You are God Almighty,  come down  in the flesh,  to save us  from all our sins.      Work Your mighty works  in us  to Your glory.”




A Christian devotional to glorify the LORD of lords and God of gods


Pray for our country.


This is the day which the LORD has made;
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24


The word of the LORD is tried;
He is a shield  to all  who take refuge  in Him.
Psalm 18:30


Sing for joy in the LORD,  O you righteous ones;
Praise is becoming  to the upright.
Psalm 33:1


How blessed are those  who dwell in Thy house!
They are ever praising Thee.
Psalm 84:4


Just as a father has compassion  on his children,
So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.
Psalm 103:13


Oh give thanks to the LORD,  for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Psalm 107:1


Glory in His holy name;
Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad.
Psalm 105:3


Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that
I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:12






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