The Palace and the Stable
From April 1 to April 22, 1923, twenty-three sermons were delivered by the inimitable N.B. Hardeman at the famed Ryman Auditorium, home of the Grand Ole Opry, in Tennessee's capital city of Nashville. The second of these sermons included an examination of the period between the Old and New Testaments in which Hardeman surveyed the reign of the infamous Herod the Great who occupied the throne when the angel of the Lord announced on that starlit night, that a Savior, Christ the Lord, has been born (Luke 2:8, 11). Hardeman affirmed:
If ever evil was embodied in one man, it was in that corrupt mass that lay upon the royal bed and plotted death even when incarnate love was born into the world.
From the couch of Herod pass for a moment to the cradle of Christ. A peasant couple from the hills of Galilee trudged along to the historic Bethlehem, the woman worn with long hard travel and pinched with the pain of approaching maternity. . . . It was late in the day ere they reached the "inn", and all the sleeping compartments were occupied. A place was found on the lower level used for the stabling of the cattle, and there on that night, Jesus, the Christ was born.
Such, a contrast between the village khan and the palace fortress the world has never seen. . . . The Prince of Peace was among the beasts, and the beast was among the princes. The real King was in the stable, while the usurper was clad in purple. . . . (53-54)
Twenty centuries of human history have not diminished the power of the cradled Christ.
Hardeman, N. B. Hardeman's Tabernacle Sermons. Vol. 2. Nashville: Gospel Advocate, 1971. 5 vols.