A Decree Went Out
In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. Luke 2:1
Have you ever been told to do something? Maybe a boss or an overseer gave you an order? Maybe as a child you had a dad or mom who told you to do something, regardless whether you liked it or not? In the beginning of Luke’s historical account of the birth of Christ, we discover the most powerful person in the world history giving orders, telling people what to do, and most of them didn’t like it.
Caesar Augustus was his name. He was a famous Roman emperor we read about today. Augustus was a master of organizational leadership, a genius of sorts. Have you ever seen some super kid build a crazy cool Lego tower? Augustus could build entire cities like kids build with Legos. He knew how to build powerful armies, nations, and governments. Throughout world history, his power would be admired by many. Leaders like Napoleon and Adolf Hitler upheld Caesar Augustus as their role model. Caesar Augustus was likely the most powerful and most dangerous man that ever lived. Luke records that Caesar gave a decree, a command, an official order for the citizens within the Roman Empire to go back to their home towns for a special registration, which would have likely required everyone to pay extra taxes.
What we are going to learn is that God is actually in control. God is the one actually giving the orders. He used Caesar Augustus' decree in His divine plan and purpose. God is the one in charge, not Caesar. Though it looks as if Augustus was the one with all the power, no man has more power than God. God made man. God is above all people, places, and things. He is the maker of heaven and earth, not Caesar. As we will learn later, God is the one who sent out this decree from before the foundations the earth were created; God had a plan, and this decree of Caesar’s was not his but God’s.
Questions for reflection and discussion
1. How has God used unlikely people in your life for His perfect plan?
2. What area of your life do you need to trust to God’s control?
Dear God, help me to trust You. You are more powerful than people, princes, presidents, emperors, kings, and war lords. You are God. I can trust You. In Jesus' name, amen.