Bethlehem – the House of Bread

Scripture Passage: 
Genesis 35:15-20

INTRODUCTION: Genesis 35:19 is the first mention of Bethlehem in the Bible. The name means house of bread . This could mean a place where one could come and eat when hungry; a place of supply for the hungry (Isaiah 58:6-7). Historically, Bethlehem is just such a place. We will look at Bethlehem as a type of God’s supply for the hungry in five different incidents in the Bible. But first, let us visit the town of Bethlehem.

Bethlehem is located five miles south of Jerusalem (the distance from Antioch Baptist Church to downtown Knoxville). The mountains and valleys between the two cities make it impossible to see the one from the other. Bethlehem is located on a ridge one hundred feet higher than Jerusalem. It has a deep valley to its north and another to its south. This explains why the Philistines put a garrison there. To the east of Bethlehem, the land drops quickly down to the Dead Sea. To the west, there is a slightly milder drop to the Plain of Philistia. These slopes are known in ancient times for their terraced gardens. Bethlehem was normally a fairly small town. Biblically, it is the place of the death of Rachel, the birth of David and Jesus, and the marriage of Ruth and Boaz. We will see it as the house of bread.

  1. A PLACE OF WEEPING
    1. The Death of Rachel (Genesis 35:15-20)
    2. The Weeping of Rachel (Matthew 2:16-18)
    3. The Hope in Weeping (Jeremiah 31:15-17)
    4. Jesus: the Rest for the Weary (Matthew 11:28-30)
  2. A PLACE OF BLESSING
    1. The Loss of All (Ruth 1:1-5)
    2. The Return in Sorrow (Ruth 1:19-22)
    3. The Blessing for Ruth (Ruth 2:1-12)
    4. The Kinsman- Redeemer (Ruth 4:9-11)
    5. Jesus: Making Us the Sons of God (John 1:10-13)
  3. A PLACE OF ANOINTING
    1. The Choice of a King (1 Samuel 16:1-3)
    2. The Choice Not Expected (1 Samuel 16:6-13)
    3. The Promise of a Seed (2 Samuel 7:8-13)
    4. Jesus: the Son of David (Matthew 1:1; Luke 1:31-32)
    5. God’s Choice Today (1 Corinthians 1:26-29)
  4. A PLACE OF REFRESHMENT
    1. The Thirsty Soul (2 Samuel 23:14-15)
    2. The Three Mighty Men (2 Samuel 23:16); as the Trinity
    3. Jesus: the Source of Water (John 4:10-14)
  5. A PLACE OF SALVATION
    1. A Place of Taxation (Luke 2:1-7)
    2. The Birth of the Saviour (Luke 2:8-11)
    3. Jesus: the Saviour of the World (John 4:42; 1 Timothy 4:10)

CONCLUSION:

Are you weeping? Are you heavy?
Are you burdened down with sin?
Come to the town of Bethlehem
And let the Christ child in.
Are you thirsty? Are you hungry?
Seeking bread that satisfies?
Come to the town of Bethlehem
To Christ—the One who died.
Seeking purpose and direction;
Are you wandering in a maze?
Come to the town of Bethlehem
And let Christ show the way.
Have your dreams gone up in smoke?
Have you lost a loved one dear?
Come to the town of Bethlehem
Where Christ will make things clear.  
by David F. Reagan
David Reagan

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 16:22

Understanding is a wellspring of life unto him that hath it: but the instruction of fools is folly.