Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt I called my son.”
- Matthew 2:13 – 15
Shortly after Jesus was born, shepherds became believers and wise men bowed to worship. But not all people responded to the birth of Jesus with great faith. Some responded with fear, anger and hatred.
So for a moment, consider Herod. To say the least, Herod was upset about God’s work in this world. He wanted to hold on to his kingdom. He loved his power and position. He wanted life to stay the same. And God’s coming king felt like a threat to him. It was a great declaration that things would most definitely be changing.
No doubt, Jesus’ coming signals change for all of us. Life can’t go on as it did before. God always moves things in a new and better direction but Herod didn’t like God’s new direction, nor did he think it would be better for him. So he took matters into his own hands to get what he wanted. He sent out a search party to stop what God had started.
Since Herod is clearly the bad guy, most of us don’t take time to identify with him. But in many ways we can be like him. We too can feel threatened by God’s work in our lives. We too can worry that if God gets his way, things will change. Perhaps we will have to say no to someone or something that isn’t best for us. Or perhaps we will have to say yes to something that is better but also uncomfortable because it is unfamiliar. And we don’t want to say yes or no and so we too can try to stop what God has started.
So here is a question for you to consider today: How are you like Herod? In other words, in what ways are you upset or threatened by what God is doing in your life? What isn’t going the way you want it to go? What are you afraid of losing if God has his way in your life? In what ways are trying to stop the good work that God has started?
As you answer these questions, take time to pray this prayer: Jesus help me to submit to the direction you are taking my life and forgive me for the times I try to hinder your good work.