When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.” So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.” When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled: “A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.” Matthew 2:13-18
Joseph and Mary were obedient to the angel’s direction and fled to Egypt. (The bringing of Jesus into and back from Egypt parallels the bringing of the infant nation of Israel into Egypt for safety during the famine and then out of Egypt after 400 years of slavery.) God’s plan to protect Jesus from ruthless and power hungry Herod included a trip to Egypt. It is not known how long Mary, Joseph and Jesus stayed in Egypt but Herod died in 4 B.C., and they returned after his death. God provided a safe place, Egypt, and the means to get there, the gifts of the Magi. Those gifts, gold, frankincense and myrrh were very costly gifts and could have been sold to provide for them in Egypt. We have to trust God to deal with the murderous Herod as vengeance belongs to God. A promise we can claim in the name of those slain children is Hebrews 10:30-31 “It is mine to avenge: I will repay, and again, “The Lord will judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”
How do we see God in this event? God was Jesus’ Father and protected Him. As the Creator, God sustains and provides for all He has made, but He is the Father only of those who believe in His Son Jesus Christ. He gives us His Spirit, adopts us into His family and makes us His children. He has a loving relationship that lasts forever with every believer. He speaks to us personally through His Word the Bible, and we speak to Him in prayer. Even the best human father has flaws but God is always good, wise and loving. God loves, protects, care for, trains and disciplines His children. Jesus was His Son and He protected and cared for Him in that distant land of Egypt. The gospels tell us that Jesus spent time in prayer talking with His Father, communing with Him, drawing from His strength and receiving His comfort while here on earth. God did not have to discipline Jesus, as He does us, as Jesus was perfect and without sin. Therefore, Jesus was perfectly obedient to His Father and fulfilled all that God sent Him to accomplish, our redemption.
Do you look upon God as your heavenly Father? As a believer, do you allow Him to love protect, care for, train you? Do you willingly accept His discipline? Many people struggle with the image of God as their Father as they have had a flawed earthly father in their lives. If this is your experience, pray and ask God to establish His relationship anew with you, to repair you sight and heal your understanding so you can relate to Him as your heavenly Father. He is a good, good Father and will not let you down. He is perfect in all of His ways.
Thankful for my good, good Father,