God works in mysterious ways to his purpose to fulfill. “Thy way is in the sea, and thy path in the great waters, and thy footsteps are not known” (Ps. 77:19).
Mary was given the promise of God through the angel that she would bear in her womb Jesus, the Son of the Highest. He would reign on the throne of David. This promise brought great joy to her. It was the promise already received of God in Paradise, and looked for as the coming seed to crush the head of the serpent. Abraham was told by God that the Messiah would come from his seed.
David rejoiced in this same promise, that his son would be born in Bethlehem. Mary knew all this well, but she was in Nazareth, far from the royal city of David, Bethlehem.
She and Joseph, her husband, lived in the wrong place. Satan fills the mind with these things to make doubt arise in our hearts. What a wonder that Mary pondered all these things in her heart! The cry arises from them both, “O Lord, show us thy way. Let us follow thee though we know not the way.” “And I said, This is my infirmity: but I will remember the years of the right hand of the most High. I will remember the works of the Lord: surely I will remember thy wonders of old. I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings” (Ps. 77:10–12). Though they doubted in their abilities, they put their trust in God who had given them the promise. “Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name” (Mal. 3:16). No matter how much fear filled their hearts, God was greater than all their fears and would bring it to pass. He has all hearts in his hand. Listen:
And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. (Luke 2:1–5)
Nothing could frustrate God’s plan of redemption. He brought it to pass through an impossible way from our side to glorify himself. “Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it” (Isa. 46:10–11). This salvation is available to the greatest sinner without money and without price. It is a one-sided sovereign work of grace; man nothing, God everything. “Glory be to the Father, glory be to the Son, and glory be to the Holy Ghost,” world without end. Amen!
Mr. Cornelius VanKempen known as Case, has been married to Susan for fifty-seven blessed years. They attend and are members of Heritage Reformed Congregation in Grand Rapids, MI.