The Angels view of Christmas: Provided Warnings

Time has passed and Jesus is probably a young toddler by this point.  The Wise Men come to visit Mary, Joseph and Jesus, but with them arrives a threat from King Herod.

Herod is afraid that this “king” will take his place and more importantly his throne and kingdom.

When they left, an angel appeared to Joseph.  Once again, the angel appeared in a dream.

13 When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”     {Matthew 2:13}

By telling Joseph to get up or arise he is calling for immediate action and departure.

“This was a trial of the faith of Joseph and Mary. But their faith, being tried, was found firm.”  {Matthew Henry Concise Bible Commentary}

The angel tells Joseph to take the child and escape to Egypt.

“This land was ever the refuge of Israel when fleeing from famine and oppression. One hundred miles in a direct line from Bethlehem would carry Joseph well over the border of Egypt. Two hundred miles would bring him to the river Nile. In Egypt he would find friends, possibly acquaintances. There were at that time about one million Jews in the Nile valley. In Alexandria, a city of 300,000, from one-fifth to two-fifths of the population were Jews, two of the five wards being given over to them; and the Talmud describes how, in its great synagogue, all the men of like craft or trade sat together. Thus Joseph might there find fellow-craftsmen.”   {The Fourfold Gospel: or A Harmony of the Four Gospels.}

Joseph obeyed, which saved his sons life.

And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”   {Matthew 2:15}

Once again, God was fulfilling the prophecy.  But, long before Jesus was born, God knew how Herod would react.

Herod was a scared, selfish and jealous ruler.

When he discovered that the Magi had outwitted him, he “he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi.”  {Matthew 2:16}

“Herod killed all the male children, not only in Bethlehem, but in all the villages of that city. Unbridled wrath, armed with an unlawful power, often carries men to absurd cruelties. It was no unrighteous thing with God to permit this; every life is forfeited to his justice as soon as it begins…But the murder of these infants was their martyrdom. How early did persecution against Christ and his kingdom begin!”  { Matthew Henry Concise Bible Commentary}

Imagine the pain and screams and weeping, as the Roman soldiers stormed the streets and ripped all baby boys and toddler boys from the arms of their mothers. With the ripping from their arms, he was ripping the hearts of these women in two.

“Herod now thought that he had baffled the Old Testament prophecies, and the efforts of the wise men in finding Christ; but whatever crafty, cruel devices are in men’s hearts, the counsel of the Lord shall stand.”  {Matthew Henry Concise Bible Commentary}

Matthew tells us that this fulfilled the prophecy of Jeremiah,

“A voice is heard in Ramah,
weeping and great mourning,
Rachel weeping for her children
and refusing to be comforted,
because they are no more.”   {Matthew 2:18}

Ramah “means “highland” or “hill.” The town lies six miles north of Jerusalem. It was the birthplace and burial-place of the prophet Samuel…Ramah was a town of Benjamin.”  {The Fourfold Gospel: or A Harmony of the Four Gospels.}

Mary was saved from this pain and emotional turmoil, when the angel appeared to Joseph and he obeyed and fled with his young family to Egypt.

The angel spoke to Joseph and he acted, saving his young family, while others endured great heartbreak and tragedy.   A short while later the angel would again appear to Joseph in a dream and tell him to take his family and return home.

Do you act when God speaks in your life?


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