When kings decree, God is in the details. As the adopted son of Julius Caesar, the man voted “divine” (ironically after his very mortal-like death) by popular majority, Caesar Augustus might have thought he was the supreme ruler of his universe. He considered himself the Son of God. At the snap of his fingers, men sprang into action. Under his authority, massive armies advanced and retreated. At a word, he could have a man executed or released from prison. But unbeknownst to him, there was a Supreme Ruler in Augustus’ universe who was pulling his strings like a puppet.

Augustus decreed a census throughout the Roman Empire. This strategic move would provide both a large financial boost as well as logistics concerning the population density and demographics within each region of his empire. The mass transit of millions of people would also stimulate the Roman economy.

While Augustus’ census achieved his purposes, it also achieved God’s purpose. Amid the throng of travelers was an engaged Jewish couple headed to Bethlehem. The woman was great with child. God used the census to relocate them from their home in Nazareth so the child would be born in Bethlehem. Everything worked out exactly as God had planned, to the minutest detail. Though Caesar Augustus ruled, God was in complete control.

Perhaps you lost your job because your employer had to meet the requirements of the new healthcare bill. As you pursue employment, you can’t help but wonder why God allowed this to happen. Looking for someone to blame, you have pointed fingers at our president and your employer — maybe even at God Himself. Don’t blame anyone for your present circumstances. Instead, remember that all authority is under God’s control: your parents, teachers, boss, local law enforcement personnel, and even political leaders. He is presently working out His will for your life through them because He is in control.

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.