Tag: Matthew 2
Scripture reading for January 4th: Matthew 2
(For 2016, we can read through the entire New Testament one chapter a day, five days each week. We will complete Revelation on December 31st. Each day I will choose a short passage and give an over-comer’s exhortation!)
Key Scriptures: Matthew 2:12-13 “And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route. 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.”
In dangerous times of religious persecution, God knows how to take care of His people. He can use many methods to move them to protect them from danger, but here He chose to use dreams. By a dream, he warned the wise men not to go back to Herod. They listened and understood and obeyed. These were Gentiles that feared God and searched for the One that the star would lead them to. Joseph also listened and through prompt obedience spared his Son’s life and the family much sorrow! After the danger passed, Joseph was told to return with his family. Providentially, he ended up in Nazareth!
Observation for over-comers: Humble people are always open to God speaking to them, even in dreams or visions. They humbly listen and take prompt action after discerning God’s voice. God will protect us through faith and obedience! “God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1)
Scripture reading for January 2nd: Matthew 2
Matthew records the visit of the Magi (wise men) from the East. They probably came from the area of the Middle East that we now know as Iran or Iraq. These men had left their country and were following a star that appeared to them and was leading them. They somehow knew that the child they were seeking was “King of the Jews”. (Matthew 2:1)
When they reached Jerusalem, they went to see King Herod and inquire about where to look. This brought about a great disturbance in King Herod and in the city of Jerusalem! Calling together the elders of the Jews, Herod asked them what they knew about the Christ’s birthplace. They quoted the prophet Micah 5:2, stating that Bethlehem would be the city of Judah where the ruler would come. Herod told this to the wise men and asked them to report back when they found this King.
The star took them about five miles away to Bethlehem. When the saw the child Jesus, joy overwhelmed them! They were so moved that they bowed down and worshiped Him. They were not ashamed to show their reverence and to honor this King of the Jews! They even opened their treasures and laid gold, frankincense and myrrh at His feet. God warned them in a dream to go home another way.
Their response is a model for all seekers of King Jesus. They were willing to leave behind their old life and follow God’s leading to where He was. They sought those who knew Scripture and listened. When they found Jesus, they opened their hearts and treasures and worshiped Him! When they found Him, they went home a new way! Where your treasure is, there your heart will be as well! (Matthew 6:21)
Scripture reading for January 2nd: Matthew 2, Psalm 2, Proverbs 1:
Satan, the ancient serpent of old, was put on notice in the Garden of Eden that the seed of woman would crush his head. Since that time, Satan has pursued the Seed to kill, steal, and destroy. He was particularly after the One that was promised and has left a trail of death throughout history. Cain killed Abel by Satan’s inspiration. In Moses’ day, all the Hebrew boys were to be thrown into the river and drowned.
In the time of Herod, a census was decreed by Rome and this brought Joseph and Mary to their place of registry in Bethlehem to pay their taxes. As they approached the town, Mary was ready to give birth. There was no place for them in the inns, so they took refuge in a stable and Mary gave birth to Jesus Christ, the Son of God!
Matthew recorded the visit of wise men from the East, following a star and looking for one who was “born King of the Jews.” When King Herod heard this news, he was disturbed and sought to find out where the Christ was to be born. “But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means among the least of the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the Shepherd of My people Israel.” (Micah 5:2) Herod lied to the wise men, asking to know who this child was. The found the child and worshiped Him, leaving gifts. They were warned in a dream not to tell Herod and returned another way.
Herod was furious and ordered the execution of all children in the area two years old and younger! Joseph and Mary had been warned in a dream to flee to Egypt and had done so! Such cruelty was directed towards Jesus at birth! Satan surely tried to kill Him then but failed! This story helps us to trust God in our journey through life. He can protect us from the wiles of Satan and guide us to safety until we finish our journey and purposes here. Like Joseph and Mary, we must listen and obey quickly to avoid the traps set for us by Satan. Delay can be fatal! Others suffered too, but God works all for good in His great plan of redemption!