December 27: Israel’s Most Wanted Fugitive Child

Dec 27

December 27: Israel’s Most Wanted Fugitive Child

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.”

That night Joseph left for Egypt with the child and Mary, his mother, 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.”

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. Herod’s brutal action fulfilled what God had spoken through the prophet Jeremiah:

“A cry was heard in Ramah—weeping and great mourning.

Rachel weeps for her children refusing to be comforted, for they are dead.”

Matthew 2:13-18

 

Joseph had a dream. An angel of the Lord said, “Get up! Flee to Egypt with the child and his mother. Herod is going to search for the child to kill him so stay in Egypt until I tell you to return.” That night Joseph took his family and left for Egypt.

The Son of God began His life on earth as a fugitive. Imagine being Joseph and Mary, waking in the night and packing everything you can quickly take so you could leave before dawn. Once again, we see that Mary and Joseph were chosen for a role in God’s story, but it wasn’t easy. Obedience to God’s leading will send you on some grand adventures, but it is also difficult and painful at times. They didn’t have the opportunity to say goodbye to family and friends. They couldn’t leave a forwarding address. They had to leave under cover of darkness for the safety of Jesus.

Meanwhile, King Herod was furious. The wise men never reported back to him. But based on the information from the wise men about when the star first appeared, he decided the child may be up to two years old. He sent orders to the Roman soldiers to kill all the boys in and around Bethlehem who were under two years old. It’s for this very reason the Lord warned Joseph in a dream.

You have a role in God’s story. He chose you to have a small role in an epic tale of God’s greatness. Sometimes our small role is inconvenient, like dropping everything to obey God. It may not always be a life and death situation, but our responsiveness to His leading and our prompt obedience may be necessary for God’s plan. We have a glorious purpose by glorifying God in everything we do, even if it means leaving behind all the comforts of home.

 

Prayer

Lord, where You lead me I will follow. When you say “go” I will go. Whatever You ask, we can do together. Thank You for living Your life through me to accomplish greater things than I could ever do on my own. Make my life a vessel, pouring out Your love to others. And make me a blessing in everything Your Spirit prompts me to do.