...where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”
Today's Reading: Matthew 2:13-18
Devo Author: Pat Anderson
Date: December 7, 2021
God is in control. I have questioned that statement many times in my life when I couldn’t see His plan or His purposes. In the summer of 2013 my wife, Hannah, and I were pregnant with our first child and for the first time in my life I felt like I had no control over the future. I was working as an intern at a local missionary Baptist church for $200/month and I knew that wasn’t going to cut it when it came to providing for my family. I wanted to control my career, the health of my family, my finances, my time…basically, everything. Through that season, God taught me the beauty of His sovereignty and His faithfulness. Everything is the Lord’s and when we surrender our desire for control over to Him, then we truly understand the joy of faithful obedience. That very fall, God called us to Fellowship Bible Church of Northwest Arkansas. We packed up everything we owned and moved into a house in Rogers, Arkansas–all the while, awaiting the gift of our first child, a son.
I hesitate to make any comparison between my family and the Christmas story, but every Advent season causes me to reflect on the fall and winter of 2013. Today’s passage from Matthew 2 tells the story of fulfilled prophecy and God’s protection. Earlier in Matthew 2, the Magi had visited King Herod and asked where they could find the King of the Jews. Herod immediately began plotting to kill this King because Jesus was a threat to Herod’s power and rule. But who was in control? God was. God spoke through dreams to both the Magi and Joseph so that His plan would be fulfilled. The Magi would not return to Herod to inform him of the child’s location and Joseph would take his family and flee to Egypt to escape Herod’s evil plot. Through this we see Hosea’s prophecy fulfilled: “Out of Egypt I called my son.” When Herod realized that he had been tricked, he ordered that every boy two years old or younger in Bethlehem, be killed. Through this a prophecy of Jeremiah was fulfilled.
This short passage is one of peaceful assurance and bitter sorrow. On the one hand, God divinely intervened to protect His Son and His plan for the world. On the other hand, an evil king was allowed to carry out unspeakable evil on children in the land of Judea. Is God really in control? I still believe that the answer is yes! Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33b NIV). The world is broken and we often ask God how He is working through our suffering. Today’s passage teaches us that no matter how things look, God is in control. That truth doesn’t erase the evil things around us, but, if we have put our hope in Jesus, it does reassure our hearts that it won’t always be this way. A King was born unto us and He has called us to be citizens of His Kingdom that will never end. There will be no more sorrow, no more pain–only peace and joy forevermore! Trust in God and live faithful lives until His return.