Lessons from Matthew 2: Obedience to Jesus
Not long after the Magi left in part 2 of our Lessons from Matthew 2 study, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph and instructed him to take Mary and their child and escape to Egypt out of obedience. He was to remain there until God told him to leave. Herod was going to put out a search party for their son in order to kill him.
And immediately, out of obedience to God and trust in His spoken Word, Joseph got up in the night. He took Mary and their child and left for Egypt where they remained until Herod died.
Even this was in fulfillment of the words of the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”
Obedience to Jesus
In Egypt they would not be alone, for there were many colonies of Jews in the place. There is an interesting parallel between this flight to Egypt and Israel that I read. As an infant nation, Israel went to Egypt, just as Jesus did as a child. God led Israel out and He brought Jesus back.
Both events show God working to save His people.
Herod, who realized he had been outwitted by the Magi, became even more furious than he had been before. He ordered all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity, ages 2 and under, to be killed.
Now, it is important to note that Bethlehem was not widely populated. Therefore, there were probably 15 or so young toddlers killed at this time. But all life is important, and the blood of each one of these children would be on Herod’s hands.
It’s the same today for those who take the lives of the innocent and unborn. May God protect the innocent and helpless from evil men and women and their efforts to take away the life God has given.
Verses 17-18 tell us that these things happened that the word of God through Jeremiah might be fulfilled. God does not look lightly upon those who have wronged the innocent. One day all wrongs will be righted. Until then, we pray for repentance and forgiveness within the hearts and minds of those who have committed or partaken in any such horrific thing!
After Herod died, again an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph and instructed him to get up and take Mary and Jesus to the land of Israel. Those who had tried to take Jesus’s life were dead.
And so again, immediately Joseph got up (talk about getting woke up in the night!) and they headed toward Israel. Joseph heard that Herod’s son Archelaus was reigning and again God warned Joseph not to go there but rather to withdraw into the district of Galilee. Joseph listened and obeyed and he and his family lived in a town called Nazareth.
Again this was a fulfillment of the scriptures! God has proven Himself over and over as trustworthy!
God delivered them from Herod’s snare. He covered them in His faithfulness, and He assured their protection. They were safe in the shelter of the Most High. Yes some suffered unjustly, but others were spared!
Obedience to God is blessed with His presence, power, and protection!
Do you trust His words and character enough to follow as He leads?