Today is the 4th day in our Journey with the Magi. The children run to find them…to see how far they have traveled…and we sit and remember…
The Magi–they had made QUITE a name for themselves. Word spread throughout the nations that there were 3 distinguished, wise men who would stop at nothing to visit a baby said to be the Messiah. Through desserts and battles–hungry and tired–they made their way. As the months passed many would tell stories of their seeing the magi themselves. And before long–Kind Herod himself heard of their quest to see a soon-to-be king—and his not wanting anyone to be ruler other than himself–he knew the only way to find this king–would be to call in the three men who were said to know the way.
Matthew 2:3-10 “When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where Christ was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written: ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.'” Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.” After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.”
I remember the FIRST time I read this story to my children. They began shouting, “Herod was tricking! Herod was tricking!” Yes–this is true. Herod did NOT really want to see and worship baby Jesus. We know this–but in the moment…the wise men did not. The wise men had traveled through hardship to finally feel as if they were being favored and welcomed in the presence of the king. Being summoned by King Herod and asked to help him would have been an honor–and they believed him as they had no reason not to. God didn’t unveil Herod’s dishonesty to them until later to protect them as well.
It would not be until a dream later they learn otherwise, but for now–remember they didn’t know any different. I’m sure when they discovered the truth, they felt deceived and even couldn’t believe that they were almost used to reveal the location of Jesus to the very ruler who wanted to kill him out of jealousy. The ONE man who wanted to do away with Jesus was able to talk with the 3 who knew where Jesus was. What are the chances?! What the enemy meant for evil–God would use for good. (Over and over again we see this in scripture–how what man means for evil God can turn around and use for His good! Remember Joseph and his brothers–and Joseph’s words: “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.”Genesis 50:20 What a beautiful picture of Christ to come!).
Herod was “tricking”!
He intended to use the wise men to find baby Jesus who he felt would be a threat to his place in the kingdom. The wise men told them exactly how they were getting there and exactly what direction they were going in. They even agreed to come back and get King Herod after they located him! BUT THIS–this was NOT in God’s plan. And nothing can thwart (change) God’s plan!
Isaiah 14:27 says, “For the LORD Almighty has purposed, and who can thwart him? His hand is stretched out, and who can turn it back?”
The Lord Almighty had a purpose for the wise men–and ultimately for Jesus Christ–and not even the king of the land could change that! The wise men never took their eyes off the Lord and they continued to follow the star He told them to. In the right time, when God knew the wise men would understand–He would reveal what He needed the wise men to know about Herod to protect them and for His ultimate plan.
The Lord has called us to be wise and to put our trust in Him alone. There will be times in our own lives when we are lied to or someone tries to trick us into doing something that isn’t in the Lord’s plan–and that is why it is so important for us to keep our eyes focused on Jesus and to put or trust in Him alone. We have to be careful not to listen or trust just anyone because of who they are or who they say they are–and ask the Lord for discernment and peace in the way He has chosen for us to go. The wise men would have much to risk by not obeying the king’s orders—but they had much more to risk if they didn’t obey the Lord.
The wise men are getting closer to the manger…
They have seen the star—and tomorrow will be grand as they worship this babe they have traveled through desert, storm, army to get to him…for weeks, months and quite possibly over a year. And when they drop to their knees in worship…their hearts will know the journey was worth it. I can’t wait to share this tomorrow with the littles!!! I think a few songs about the Magi will be in order!
We thank you that NOTHING can change your plans! We ask that you would be over all the details of our lives and that you would give us wisdom in the way to go. We ask for discernment when someone tells us something we are not sure about–and that ultimately we would hear from you and be obedient to you. Thank you for being BIGGER than any problem or person that would attempt to change your plans! How exciting to know you have a plan for our lives that no one can touch as we trust in you! Amen.