Pastor’s Bible Reading Schedule: Numbers 26-28; Matthew 2
There is nothing ordinary about the birth of Christ. He was God the Creator made flesh, born of a virgin, born in a stable, announced by angels, and sought by the magi from the east. Contrary to popular belief, the wise men were not present at the birth of Christ. I believe the wise men visited Jesus several months after the birth of Christ. I am convinced from verse 7 that Jesus was living in a house when the wise men visited him. “And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him…” Herod came to power at the appointment of his father, Antipater. He was met with some great resistance and in 40 B.C. began his rule over the Jews. He was a great diplomat and orator, and was known for his philanthropy to the Jewish people. For those who visited Israel with me, we visited many places and saw the building genius of Herod. Herod was gracious to the Jews in order to build loyalties and to keep peace. In times of severe economic hardship he gave back some tax money collected from the people. During the great famine of 25 B.C. he melted down various gold objects in the palace to buy food for the poor. He also built the beautiful port city of Caesarea, complete with theaters, race tracks, and other structures to provide entertainment for the people. In 19 B.C. he began the reconstruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, which became known as “Herod’s Temple.” He is also well known for the remarkable and almost impregnable fortress of Masada. While touring this amazing work of architectural genius, I was amazed at the creativity for gathering water and for growing and storing food. However, this political and philanthropic leader had a vicious side. He was not willing to share his throne with anyone. “When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.. he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.” (vs. 3, 8) God is always in control. God stepped in and directed the wise men to return another way, because Herod always had in his heart to destroy Jesus, King of the Jews. God stepped in and directed Joseph to take his family down to Egypt in order to escape the murderous agenda of Herod. When Herod was dead, then God stepped in and directed Joseph to take his family back to Galilee and they settled in Nazareth. This chapter contrasts the fickleness of man and the faithfulness of God. Oh how important it was that Joseph obeyed the Lord. Men, it is just as critical today that we obey the Lord in all that He has revealed to us. He is counting on us to protect our families as we follow the leadership of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Prophecy after prophecy is fulfilled in this chapter as God manifests His constant provision and care for His people according to His program.
• Lord, please help me to remember you are always in control. When you speak to me from your word, you are leading me according to what you see. Please help me to always be sensitive to your will and to follow it without hesitation.
• Lord, thank you for your faithfulness. Man can do nice things and man can do mean things, but how comforting to know you always do the right thing.
• Lord, please help me to remember your promises. You are a God who keeps His word! Thank you for reminding me of this truth as I see your prophecies fulfilled time after time.