The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord.
Proverbs 16:33 (NIV)
In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.
Luke 2:1-3 (NIV)
It was prophesied that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem of Judea (Micah 5:2). However, Joseph—the legal father of Jesus—and Mary His mother, were living in Nazareth near the time of Jesus’ birth.
In order for God’s prophecy to be fulfilled, the Lord put it into the heart of Caesar Augustus to take a census of his kingdom at just the right time. The Bible makes it abundantly clear that God directs the actions of even ruling kings (Proverbs 21:1). Hence we believe that nothing is left to “chance”.
The Bible teaches that nothing is left to blind irrational forces. Life events are all under the authority of a sovereign God Who rules everything according to His own will (Ephesians 1:11).
Remarkable comfort is to be found in realizing how God is involved in every detail of our lives and that nothing happens without His involvement.
Certainly the Roman ruler at the time of Jesus’ birth acted freely as far as he knew. However God not only chose who would be our Lord’s earthly parents, He organized the detail to get them to the very place where His Son would be born.
What a blessed truth that nothing takes the Lord by surprise. Even the kings of the earth do His sovereign will. When some apparent disaster comes our way, we may be certain it passed before the eye of our God and He caused it to happen.
Certainly it was most inconvenient for Joseph and Mary to travel by foot all the way from Nazareth to Bethlehem when Mary was so close to delivering her child. But they knew their suffering was to fulfil the promise of God concerning the location of Jesus’ birth.
They submitted to their difficulties in that journey knowing God was in charge and that nothing happened by “chance”. May we have a similar attitude to our sorrows in life.