Day Thirty-Five: Perfect Timing
January 4, 2020
By Paul Cardell
By Paul Cardell
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.”
14 So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, 15 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.” Matthew 2:13-15 (NIV)
Fleeing in the middle of the night to Egypt seems an ignoble beginning for the Savior of the world. An act of desperation. Even from the outset, death and rejection hovered around this child called Jesus. Yet God’s plan for the reconciliation of sinners was not to be thwarted, even if heaven and earth had to be moved in the process. And they were.
Perhaps the wise men recounted Herod’s interest and, knowing the cruel tyrant king, Joseph was uneasy. The angel directly commanded the flight to Egypt, a place of refuge for many Jews in those troubling times. Perhaps the gifted gold provided the means for survival during the flight and the exile. We don’t know the details nor the extent of the hardship that faced this young family seeking refuge in Egypt. We only know that they were immediately obedient. Faith in action played its part in the offer of redemption for all humanity.
Empathizing with a new father forced to flee his ancestral home to save the life of his child, we become troubled at the cruelty of this world. Why should the family of the Son of God have to flee? Could not God protect them? The issue was never the ability of God to protect, but the unfolding process of the mission of Jesus Christ done in a way that revealed His word to a resistant world.
There are two points of view here; the earthly cruelty that Joseph, Mary, and Jesus were running from and the provision of a loving God that they were running toward. There are dangers and trials in life on this earth. We are told to expect them, but we are also told that Christ has overcome this world.
God gave Joseph and Mary warning, means, and protection. God spoke supernaturally to them to provide guidance. God directed them home at the right time. We cannot control the circumstances of our lives. Fear, like Herod, is always a cruel tyrant. Often, maleficent intentions of evil lay just below the surface of earthly approval. Herod used kind words to the magi that masked his intent to preserve his power by eliminating the Christ child.
We must abide in our God to know provision, protection, and tenderness in the midst of anything He allows us to bear. He will not forsake us to evil. There is no place where His love does not await us. The realities of this world loom large, but the sovereignty of God is absolute.
Renounce earthly fear for hope. Have ears to hear the God who calls you; expect Him to speak into your life in whatever form He chooses. Seek the arms of a loving God who waits for you now and leads you to a safe place with Him. He may not remove you from the trials of this earth, but He makes a way to endure them and shelters you in His presence to give you peace and direction. Ultimately, He will lead you into Egypt and out of Egypt at just the right time for His purposes to be fulfilled, and they are always good.