This devotion is a monthly ministry of the Pee Dee Baptist Association, comprised of 31 Southern Baptist churches in Dillon and Marlboro Counties. For more information call 774-8062.
Featured this month is Dr. Dick Alderman, the pastor of Little Rock Baptist Church, Little Rock.
Christmas is full of puzzles, paradoxes, things that seem to contradict but are true. The God of the ages, too holy for Moses to look upon, before Whom Isaiah, Abraham, and John fell on their faces – this Almighty Eternal God Who inhabits the earth as a little room, Who puts His feet on it as His footstool, Who rides the clouds and winds of the hurricane as a chariot, Who holds the will of every despot, ruler, and terrorist in His control, Who will one day soon fling this universe back to its nothingness from which it came – THIS God is HERE, on earth as a little Baby, unnoticed, already hated and despised, lying in a manger.
Isaiah 9:6-7 says this little “child that is born” is “the Might God, the Everlasting Father.” It says this little Baby’s hand will one day wield the scepter as the world’s King of Kings.
The tiny hand we see waving in the straw flung the planets into their orbits, fashioned every one of the zillions of stars, and created every soul who has ever lived. Micah 5:2 says, “Out of Bethlehem shall He (the Baby) come Who is to be the Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth have been from everlasting.”
Another puzzle of the manger is that He Who owned and created all riches was born in earth’s poverty. His palace was in Heaven but He had “no place to lay His head” when He came here. He was called the “Prince of Peace.” Yet His life was dogged by Israel’s religious leaders who sought to destroy Him. The Bible says, “The king’s heart is in His hand:
He turns it wherever He wishes.” Yet Pilate condemned Him to crucifixion. Puzzles …. paradoxes of the manger.
We listen to the Baby’s quiet cooing and laughing, yet remember when He returns to earth His “voice will be as the sound of many waters.” We stood under Niagara Falls and were deafened by the roar of a thousand jet engines. His voice will make the Falls sound as a mere whisper.
This little Baby organized no army, started no war, wrote no books, built no altars, offered no sacrifices, wrote no creed, demanded no followers, forced no one to bow to Him, held no court, defeated man’s dreaded enemy from Hell, yet carried no sword.
He could have had myriads of angels as bodyguards, yet He walked unprotected among men.
HOW God became man is indescribable, incomprehensible, and undeniable. WHY God became a little Baby is inexpressible: to redeem us from sin, to rescue those called His enemies, to save those deserving of death, to give those who hated Him a place in heaven with Him forever.
This was to make us vile Hell-bound and Hell-deserving sinners His own children, sinners who required His shed blood on Calvary and separation from His Father to prove “God so loved the world.” THAT is the greatest puzzle of all.
Keep a grateful heart for Him.
Remember the Baby of the manger is the God of eternity.