The God Who Speaks

OPENING PRAYER

Living God, grow my expectation to hear from You and to see You move in my world.

 

Read: MATTHEW 2:13-23

[13] 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.” [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.” [16] 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.” [19]After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt [20] 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.” [21] So he got up, took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. [22] 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, [23] and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets, that he would be called a Nazarene.

 

Reflect: THROUGH WHAT MEANS DID GOD WARN THE MAGI AND JOSEPH?

Having given their gifts and worshipped Jesus, the Magi are warned in a dream not to go back home via Herod in Jerusalem (12). Joseph is also warned in various dreams to go to Egypt, Galilee and then Nazareth (13,22,23). Herod’s rage at losing track of the Magi and the child destined to be the “king of the Jews” (2:2) leads him to have all boys under the age of 2 in the area killed, in the hope that he can eliminate the child and prevent God’s will from unfolding. It reminds us of a similar slaughter that took place around the birth of Moses (Exod. 1:15–22). The arrival of grace unleashes furious and violent opposition in those who hate the Lord.Once again, we see from all of this that God guides his people! The Magi were outsiders—foreigners—yet they were caught up in the story of redemption. Their participation in salvation’s story is a powerful witness to the truth that God uses a whole range of people—like you and me—in his extraordinary redemptive plans for the world.Having given their gifts and worshipped Jesus, the Magi are warned in a dream not to go back home via Herod in Jerusalem (12). Joseph is also warned in various dreams to go to Egypt, Galilee and then Nazareth (13,22,23). Herod’s rage at losing track of the Magi and the child destined to be the “king of the Jews” (2:2) leads him to have all boys under the age of 2 in the area killed, in the hope that he can eliminate the child and prevent God’s will from unfolding. It reminds us of a similar slaughter that took place around the birth of Moses (Exod. 1:15–22). The arrival of grace unleashes furious and violent opposition in those who hate the Lord.Once again, we see from all of this that God guides his people! The Magi were outsiders—foreigners—yet they were caught up in the story of redemption. Their participation in salvation’s story is a powerful witness to the truth that God uses a whole range of people—like you and me—in his extraordinary redemptive plans for the world.

 

APPLY

Ask the Lord to speak to you and guide your steps. Take some time to write down any words or pictures he gives you.

 

CLOSING PRAYER

Good Shepherd, I know that Your sheep hear Your voice. Help me to be attentive and responsive.

 

Syndicated via Scripture Union. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
 

Terry Schneider