SPIRITUAL NOURISHMENT FOR TODAY
Passage: Matthew 2:13-18
The Flight into Egypt
“13 Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him.”
14 When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt, 15 and was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, “Out of Egypt I called My Son.”
Massacre of the Innocents
16 Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men. 17 Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying:
18 “A voice was heard in Ramah,
Lamentation, weeping, and great mourning,
Rachel weeping for her children,
Refusing to be comforted,
Because they are no more.”
Memory Verse Psalm 35:1 (NIV)
“CONTEND, O LORD, WITH THOSE WHO CONTEND WITH ME; FIGHT AGAINST THOSE WHO FIGHT AGAINST ME.”
In the previous edition of Spiritual Nourishment for Today we concluded the series ‘Wise Men Seek Jesus’. We ended where God revealed to the Magi not to return to Herod. We made the point that indeed God knows the intentions of all men and can reveal the evil intentions of our enemies to us and destroy them for us. In this edition we want to continue from what happened after the visit of the Magi.
The Magi had been told earlier by Herod to return to him and inform him about the child in order that he would also go and worship him. However it is obvious he said that with evil intentions and God knew about that. That is why he revealed to the Magi not to return to Herod again. God knew exactly what Herod was planning to do, that is, to search for and kill the child Jesus before he posed a threat to his kingship.
As wicked as Herod the Great was known to be, there was very little Mary and Joseph could have done to save Jesus from the hands of Herod. He had the power to search every nook and cranny of the entire land without any questioning. But the God who had planned to save the world through His Son, Jesus Christ, did not allow His Son to be killed.
God protected the baby Jesus by revealing to Joseph in a dream to escape with his family to the land of Egypt. The good news is that God will not hide the intentions of the enemy from His beloved children. May the LORD Almighty reveal the intentions of your enemies to you this year and show you an escape route!
It is interesting to see that because God has a special purpose for the Messiah he protected him right from the time he was born. God did allow Herod to find him in order to kill him. God provided an escape route for Jesus and his family. God still deals with those he loves, saves and calls for special purposes in the same way. He still protects His children.
That is why He kept you throughout the Year 2014 and brought you into the year 2015. You are the apple of God’s eye and therefore very precious to Him. God did not call you for nothing. He called you for a purpose. Until your mission is fully accomplished, God will never allow Satan to destroy you. Satan may do all he could but you will continually remain secured and protected in the arms of the LORD God Almighty. Satan cannot find you because you are the apple of God’s eye. Keep walking as a child of God!
Herod waited for a long time without hearing from the wise men. Realizing he had been outwitted, he started searching for Jesus but God took Jesus to Egypt without his knowledge. Herod continued to look for Jesus in order to destroy him. He ordered the killing of many children who were about Jesus’ age just to ensure he killed Jesus before he became king in the future. But his search was in vain.
He might have taught that he had killed Jesus among the many children he killed but he was wrong. He missed his target because God fought for His people. Many are the weapons the devil is going to throw with us as his target. He shall throw weapons from the North, South, East, West and center. He shall throw stones, knives, guns, and what have you with us in mind.
Yet God will hide His people from every weapon of the enemy. Herod missed his target against Jesus. I pray that any missile against you targeted at your relationship with God, job, marriage, relationship, family, health, life, ministry, finances, educational plans, career, business, academic success, etc. will miss their targets in the Year 2015 and beyond in Jesus’ name!
As we look forward to God’s protection this year from all the Herods against us, it is very important for us to remind ourselves that obedience to God and the desire to walk in His steps is very crucial if we are to enjoy God’s maximum protection. Joseph moved as he was directed by God. Eventually he was able to escape with Mary and Jesus to Egypt till God decided to bring them back to Israel. Joseph’s relationship with God probably enabled him to hear God’s voice and follow His orders.
This is very important for us if we are to enjoy maximum security from God. We need to deepen our relationship with God to the point that we can hear God speak to us. He speaks to us always through diverse means but until we draw closer to Him we cannot hear His voice when He directs us.
If we fail to hear His voice we might never know what the devil is planning and what God wants us to do in order to escape from Satan’s trap. Let us therefore draw closer to God by walking in righteousness this year and beyond. By so doing we can know the escape roots He has provided for us.
Obedience to the word of God is as equally important as walking in His righteous steps. If we refuse to obey what the LORD directs us to do we may fall into the trap of the ‘Herods’ pursuing us this year. As we walk in close obedience with God this year, may He protect us from all our enemies and create escape routes for us in Jesus’ name!
THE WORD OF THE LORD!
Pastor Nana Kobina Baisie
Teacher/Pastor at Nadrim Mission International School, Busan, Korea.