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Fear and Faith

Matthew 2:7-10
Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, 'Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.' After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star they were overjoyed. (NIVUK)

Having been told that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem, King Herod plotted to destroy the young child. It is clear that he did not reveal the Magi’s message to the theologians or introduce them to each other. He wanted to stay in control. Pretending to honour the Magi and honour the Messiah, he swore them to secrecy. They were to go to Bethlehem to find the child and then return immediately to Jerusalem with the information.

Herod was full of fear and hate. But the wise men were full of faith and, as they went, the star went ahead of them. It accurately guided the travellers to the house where Mary, Joseph and Jesus were staying. God had led them and even used the wicked and corrupt king to provide them with the information they needed to keep moving towards Jesus. The Scriptures fully confirmed the destination to which the star had led them.

God is able to use anybody in the cascade of guidance which leads people to find Jesus and fulfil their purpose in His kingdom. His power and knowledge are so great that He can even use people’s wickedness to bring Him glory. That happened magnificently in the unfair trial and evil crucifixion of Jesus. He can and does work all things together for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28), even the most dreadful tragedies and the worst of evil. We may not understand how dreadful our circumstances have been until we look back, but that will make the grace of Christ even more glorious. So, keep following after Jesus. As you search the Scriptures He will confirm the route and destination to which He is guiding you.

Almighty Lord. Thank You for guiding me through many different circumstances and in many different ways, but confirming the route and destination through the words of Scripture. Forgive me for my lack of faith in difficult times and for preferring to worry rather than trust Your Word. Please help me to know that You are working everything for Your own glory and my good, despite the strangeness of some of the circumstances through which I pass. May I also be alert to encourage other believers as they seek to follow Jesus. In His Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams