As I have been studying the book of Ruth, I have found recordings of how God took some very painful and difficult pieces of Bethlehem history and redeemed it all in a most beautiful and life-changing manner.
Look at this....
~ Bethlehem is originally called Ephrath (Genesis 35:16) which mean "house of bread".
~ It was then also referred to as Beth-lehem Ephratah (Micah 5:2) and Beth-lehem-judah (1 Samuel 17:12). It was later referred to as "the city of David" (Luke 2:4).
~ The first major event recorded in Bethlehem is the burial of Rachel after she died while giving birth to Benjamin (Genesis 48:7)
~ We next hear of Bethlehem in a particularly ugly gang rape at the end of the book of Judges.
~ Following that a man named Elimilech leaves Bethlehem because of famine.
See the history here in Bethlehem of sadness, loss and sin? Now, follow this....
~ A childless girl from Moab goes to Bethlehem, along with her mother-in-law, in search of physical and spiritual sustenance. This girl is Ruth.
~ Ruth is the great-grandmother of David.
~ David becomes Israel's king and their family lineage flows straight down to the birth, in Bethlehem, of Jesus.
Regardless of our circumstances we can always be assured that "God will make a way when there seems to be no way". Oh, what promise we have in the Lord!