After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child’s life are dead.” So he got up , took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream he withdrew to the district of Galilee, and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets: “He will be called a Nazarene.” Matthew 2:19-23
This is the last portion of Jesus’ birth story recorded in the gospels. Mary, Joseph and Jesus are now settled in Nazareth as the prophets had foretold and will remain there until He starts his ministry at about age 30. This last account is linked to the previous parts of Jesus’ story by angelic guidance. God sent his angel Gabriel to Mary to guide her into acceptance of her being chosen as mother of the coming Messiah. An angel was sent to guide Joseph into keeping Mary as his future wife and knowing the future child would be the Savior, Jesus. The angels guided the shepherds to worship the Savior. The Magi were warned in a dream not to return to Herod. An angelic messanger was sent to guide Mary, Jospeh to Egypt to escape murderous Herod. Finally, an angel was sent to guide them to a safe place to settle, Nazareth.
What does this story tell us about God? God is our guide and will direct us just as He did Mary and Joseph into the right path. God leads us in the way we should go. Today God uses His Word and His indwelling Holy Spirit to teach us how we are to live and think. Because God gives His children the Holy Spirit, they recognize His voice and follow Him. We can trust God to lead us in the right way. Without God’s guidance, we stumble and fall like people in the dark. There are many promises in Scripture about God’s guidance. Here are two that I hold dear. Psalm 32:8 “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.” Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”
How will you apply this knowledge of God being your guide today? Will you pray and ask God for His help? He can and does help us with physical, emotional and spiritual guidance. Open His Word and read His words of comfort, hope and assurance. Prayerfully, ask the Holy Spirit for guidance in making decisions. God will guide you as you wait upon Him. Patience and trust are essential and looking to Jesus for guidance is a must for the Christian desirous of walking day by day with Jesus. Never easy, but always rewarding, purposeful and bearing fruit, is our walk with the Savior.