God Can Use Taxes for His Glory
As Mary nears the time to give birth God has a “problem”. You see the Old Testament prophet, Micah, prophesied hundreds of years before the events of Luke chapter 2, that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2). “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting.” But Mary and Joseph are not in Bethlehem. They are in Nazareth, in the area of Galilee. So how is God going to get them to Bethlehem? God could have sent another angel to tell Mary and Joseph to go to Bethlehem. He’s already sent angels to deliver the news about Jesus’ birth. But He doesn’t do that. Here is what He does from Luke 2:1-3: 2 And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. 3 So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.
The Roman emperor, Caesar Augustus, decides that he needs additional tax revenue. That is the purpose behind everyone being registered through a census. So everyone had to return to their city of origin, which for Joseph was the city of Bethlehem. God used “taxes” to get Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem so that Jesus could be born in Bethlehem, fulfilling God’s prophetic word.
In today’s world we wonder sometimes why we don’t see and hear more angels. We wonder why God doesn’t manifest Himself in a more “supernatural” way to our world. Rather, God most often works through the ordinary, day to day circumstances of this world to accomplish His purposes. I think I’d do it differently if I were “god”, but I’m not….and neither are you…so it is up to us to trust Him and His plans each and every day…and to look for His activity in the ordinary, everyday events of our lives. God can even use taxes for His glory.