Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Evil King vs the Good King

Matt. 2:13-23 NLT  
  13 After the wise men were gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up! Flee to Egypt with the child and his mother,” the angel said. “Stay there until I tell you to return, because Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.” 
  14 That night Joseph left for Egypt with the child and Mary, his mother, 15 and they stayed there until Herod’s death. This fulfilled what the Lord had spoken through the prophet: “I called my Son out of Egypt.” 
  16 Herod was furious when he realized that the wise men had outwitted him. He sent soldiers to kill all the boys in and around Bethlehem who were two years old and under, based on the wise men’s report of the star’s first appearance. 17 Herod’s brutal action fulfilled what God had spoken through the prophet Jeremiah: 
  18 “A cry was heard in Ramah— weeping and great mourning. Rachel weeps for her children, refusing to be comforted,  for they are dead.” 
  19 When Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt. 20 “Get up!” the angel said. “Take the child and his mother back to the land of Israel, because those who were trying to kill the child are dead.” 
  21 So Joseph got up and returned to the land of Israel with Jesus and his mother. 22 But when he learned that the new ruler of Judea was Herod’s son Archelaus, he was afraid to go there. Then, after being warned in a dream, he left for the region of Galilee. 23 So the family went and lived in a town called Nazareth. This fulfilled what the prophets had said: “He will be called a Nazarene.”

The duel between good and evil continues across the ages but it caught the baby Christ child squarely in the cross-hairs of the enemy's sights. We might think we live in evil times, but one has got to admit, in a culture where a King could simply command his soldiers to murder all infants in a village of his subjects, and they would do it-- that is certainly a more evil culture. No one spoke up, no one had enough authority to stop them. But God worked His plan and the Christ Child was not killed by the agents of the murderous king.

Joseph is instructed in another angelic dream to move from there to Egypt. Later, the evil king dies and the dream-angel instructs Joseph to move back to Israel. The plan takes them to Nazareth, where Christ grew up and fulfilled even more ancient prophesy about the Messiah.  Herod would stop at nothing to protect his throne and in the end that is what he got-- nothing!  Christ sacrificed everything to become our Redeemer and in the end, He received EVERYTHING.  God's plan will happen, evil cannot stop it. You cannot stop it. The liberals in our society cannot stop it. Bad governments cannot stop it. The plan is in motion. The good news calls you and me into becoming a party to and part of this plan of God through the end of the ages and into eternity. Just as the ancient part of the plan was fulfilled, so will the part in the present and future.

Why not make this the Christmas when you discover total and limitless commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ? Why not discover the joy of the Holy Spirit's total and ongoing filling by emptying yourself of yourself? What have you got to lose? Look at all you have to gain!

Your servant in Christ's love

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