Faith of Jesus Daily Devotional - Day 4
Previous Context: devotion:Matthew:2:1-12
What is God doing?
- One thing/the same thing HE has been after all along.
- Fulfilling a long standing promise nkjv@Genesis:3:15
- Walking man step by step through the reasoning and process
- For the purpose of destroying the works of the Devil/providing a covering for them in HIS Son's righteousness.
- Moving the infant Jesus to safety in Egypt foreseeing what the Herod was going to do hundreds of years before it was freely chosen.
- Allowing the determination and initiative of man's political will to show it's true corrupt nature in the gruesome slaughter of all the children of Jesus' approximate age in/surrounding Bethlehem.
What is man doing?
- Many things/all of which are corrupted in some sense.
- Manufacturing/altering/avoiding a covering of there own. Herod himself is covered in the position of being a king, initiating an ambitious project of rebuilding the Temple without direction from God for doing so, etc...
- Being as gods in their own eyes/judging for themselves what is right good evil
- Attempting to eliminate any possibility of a messiah before any momentum can get started.
- Making an intimidating statement to any that might sympathize with any king other than the Herod.
It is a tricky theological consideration: a sovereign omnipotent righteous God knowing all along what was going to be Herod's chosen reaction advising those caring for HIS "seed" to flee, not stopping this Herod (else his minions) from performing his bloody decree. The effects of this interplay of powers and decisions will be felt by those citizens in the area likely for decades (if not generations to come). It may be one of many reasons later that many people of this locale had a particular difficulty with the claims of Jesus during His earthly ministries. Four decades later when the gospel writer Matthew revisits this nationally recognized tragedy, he uses it boldly as proof of fulfilled messianic prophecy pointing to Jesus.
The consideration has to follow along the track of what serves God's overall intention and plan for the whole of mankind the best. If the largest detail in the plan is getting men to see the desperate need for the Christ, the true depth of the darkness within the heart of man, the impossibility and ineffectiveness of man doing anything meaningful to counteract that darkness despite the very best of their intentions, the intensity of the light that would fully expose what goes on within that darkness and the ensuing reaction of those adverse to such light, then perhaps permitting man to be man exposing himself may indeed be a viable and righteous action; considering the very soul of mankind that is at stake in this.
No, the blood of these innocent children stains only this Herod and the cowardly men loyal enough to him that would actually carry out such orders. The decision Herod made is the decision any king of similar political pressures would make and have made. God is saying yes this is really what your darkness looks like. Why should it be revealed any less when the light of a Jesus soon to be proved Christ is involved?
What does this passage tell us about the about the commands and faith of Jesus that saints are to keep/guard?
Part of keeping His commandments is in the realization that none of us sees the full picture of the battlefield ahead nor the opposition we will face. Just because we do not have an immediate answer does not mean that the answer or God does exist, only that from our immediate position we have yet to see it. In many cases it is left for us solely to trust having rather the confidence that He sees all else that we do not. Obedience is often linked to trust in this way. That does not mean though that later after the obedience or because of the obedience that we cannot then pursue the understanding of such. If the lack of understand prevents the obedience in the first place then there is more than just understanding in this one area being lacked.
To the task of guarding the commandments and faith of Jesus in regards to frequent and horrific national tragedies and God's mysterious role within them, there are many that will sharply criticize what they presume to be God's temporal permissions gravitating solely to what they themselves from their minute self centered vantage point judge as right. Their argument in a nut shell is that God should not allow anything bad to happen to anybody, else then God does not exist. Logically, the argument equates to God should let us be ourselves as dark as that might get and at the same time not attempt to expose anything negative about us or our present condition nor hold us to any consequences; else what use is HE. Whose argument does that sound like?
Saints should become well versed in thinking through the greater complexities of this perplexing issue as it is a tactic used against us all of the time. We should not shy away from searching out these profundities; this on our own private time with God. Neither though should we enter such weighty discussions with others without first starting from the clear presumption of God's complete and exemplary righteousness and it's resultant love and compassion for those most severely effected. Obedience and trust are not exercising ourselves in intellectual debates with those whom honestly care less about the victims than as being opportunistic about their attempt to use such occurrences to disprove God.
Saints should also realize from this passage that God's strength is not always displayed in standing firmly in place against a threatening situation or person, in many cases HIS strength is knowing beforehand how others are going to react and not allowing their reaction to keep HIS messengers from getting to the stage where they can get HIS message out most fully. Reactions are often left unsuppressed so that in such reaction others can expose themselves and their intents; their reactions naturally come with Christ being the light.
Next: devotion:Matthew:2:19-23 The Return to Nazareth