After the visit of the Wise Men to see Herod, it was only a matter of time before Herod discovered Mary, Joseph and Jesus. The Wise Men did not return to Herod and tell where they had found Jesus, but listened to God’s warning and left the country another way. Matthew 2:13-18 describes what happened next.
“When they had gone (the Wise Men), 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.” 14 So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, 15 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.” God knew the inquiry of the wise men would stir up jealousy and hatred in Herod, so He sent an angel. Like before when the angel appeared to Joseph, he was obedient and did not question the wisdom of God. He took his little family south to Egypt and remained there and waited for further direction from God.
Herod, in the meantime, did not wait to act when he discovered the wise men did not return to tell him of the new king. He knew they had found him and had slipped away.
“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. 17 Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled:
18 “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.”
Leaving a trail of blood, hatred and jealousy is Herod’s legacy. God knew this would happen and foretold both the fleeing to Egypt and the destruction of innocent lives hundred’s of years beforehand. Jesus came to fulfill all prophecies concerning Messiah and He did.
Where do you see God in this portion of the story? Certainly we see God’s foreknowledge of events, His care for Mary, Joseph and Jesus, His thwarting of Herod, His messaging through an angelic being, His provision of funds for the trip from the Magi’s gifts, His protection…. God showed his fatherly care of this new family and of Jesus’ mission for all mankind. God is our heavenly Father. He is the father to all who believe in Jesus, His Son. He gives us His Spirit, adopts us into His family and makes us His children. He speaks to us through His Word and we can speak to Him through prayer. God is always good, wise and loving. He loves and protects, cares, trains and disciplines His children. As a good Father, God gave us His Word, Sent His Son and then His Holy Spirit to help us live lives pleasing to Him. John 14:26 “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.”
May you be blessed today as you realize anew the love of your heavenly Father. He cares for you as no one else can.