Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Matthew 2:13-15, The Flight to Egypt

So far the story is interesting, even beautiful, remindful of all the nativity pageants we’ve seen, Christmas cards with wise men on their camels. The rest of the story is pretty harsh. King Herod wasn’t going to let it go.
Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, "Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him."
God had given this king many opportunities to know Him.
* Herod had all of the scriptures right there at his fingertips, access to the most knowledgeable people about God and religion in the whole world.

* Herod lived right there in Jerusalem, God’s holy city.

* Herod had even personally seen to the rebuilding of the temple, now covered in gold, magnificent by night and day, sacrifices and incense being offered around the clock.

God had given Herod every possible chance to be in relationship with Him, including first chance at receiving the Messiah. But Herod had grown to despise the thought of God’s deliverance through Christ because it seemed like it would mean he would lose his throne, his power and his wealth.

The loss of fellowship with God is humankind's greatest, most devastating tragedy. Having been made in God's image,

We are like God in spirituality: Only humankind received God's breath, or "spirit." We are aware of God and His presence, and have the ability to commune with God. We can be made one with God through regeneration by His Holy Spirit. But instead of being spiritually alive, Herod was spiritually dead. God's presence felt like a threat to his own power; he set out to thwart God by killing God's Son.

We are like God in personality: God gave humankind intelligence, an ability to think and to know, feelings and emotions, and a will: the ability to make choices so that we can correspond to God in obedience, experience His presence, to enjoy Him with exceeding great joy, as the wise men did. But Herod had allowed his entire personality to become twisted by his jealousy for his crown.

We are like God in morality: God gives humankind a simple test, teaching us to know the difference between right, which is obedience to God's word, and wrong, which is choosing something apart from God's expressed will. The chief priests remained unmoved by God's word, they chose to do nothing. Herod was troubled and unnerved by God's word, he chose to try and destroy its fulfillment.

God revealed to Joseph what was about to happen, and Joseph obeyed God’s guidance
And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt
How quickly, and completely, am I apt to obey what God reveals to me?

As you go through Matthew look for the ways Jesus’ life story was a re-enactment of the story of God’s people.
and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, 'Out of Egypt I called my son.'
This is the second fulfillment of prophecy. It was important that Jesus go into Egypt. Jesus was to be the people’s savior, One Who had experienced every aspect of His people’s lives and history. God’s plan for Joseph, Mary and Jesus was to save them from disaster by hiding them in Egypt, just as God had brought Jacob’s clan to Egypt thousands of years before, to save their lives during the famine.

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