I felt convicted to write this post after my personal bible study this morning. Matthew Chapter two is pretty straight forward compared to many chapters in the bible; however, I found myself re-reading this chapter many times, as the Lord taught me a lesson through His word.
Instead of giving an overview on what Matthew Chapter 2 talks about, I encourage you to pause here to go and read it for yourself. I believe that when we read scripture for ourselves, it results in a much different experience and understanding then when we merely listen to others’ interpretations of the word. While blog posts, sermons, group study’s, and podcasts are great insights on God’s Word, Scripture is so perfect and Holy, that we should never want to take other peoples word for what it says. No summary of God’s holy word is as true and perfect than the word itself. Maybe that could be a post for another day! Anyway…
- Four instructions from God in the chapter:
- Matthew 2:12 says “….. for God had warned them in a dream not to return to Herod.
- Matthew 2:13 says “After the wise men were gone, and angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up! Flee to Egypt with the child and his mother,” the angel said. “Stay there until I tell you to return, because Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”
- Matthew 2:20 says “Get up!” the angel said. “Take the child and his mother back to the land of Israel, because those who were trying to kill the child are dead.”
- Matthew 2:22 says “But when he learned that the new ruler of Judea was Herod’s son Archelaus, he was afraid to go there. Then, after being warned in a dream, he left for the region of Galilee.
- Each time the Lord the asked the wise men or Joseph to Get up, they did just that:
- Matthew 2:12 says “ When it was time to leave, they returned to their own country by another route…”
- Matthew 2:14 says “That night Joseph left for Egypt with the child and Mary, his Mother, and they stayed there until Herod’s death.
- Matthew 2:21 says “So Joseph got up and returned to the land of Israel with Jesus and his mother”.
- Matthew 2:23 says “So the family went and lived in a town called Nazareth”.
Usually when I read scripture over and over again, it’s because it is difficult to understand, which usually results in me grabbing a study bible of some sort. This morning it was different. Within this one chapter, the Lord gave four different instructions, and each time, they did just what the Lord commanded them to do. It seems that every time Joseph and his family got comfortable, the Lord commanded them to do something else.
When the wise men were asked to return to Herod, they followed the Lord’s instructions instead. When Joseph and his family were comfortable in Judea after giving birth to Jesus, The Lord commanded them to flee to Egypt. Once Joseph and his family settled in Egypt, the Lord commanded them to move back to Israel after Herod’s death. After being instructed to go back to Israel, He was warned in a dream to go to Nazareth.
Joseph and His family must have experienced fatigue, uncertainty, and fear through this time. However, they always responded to the Lord’s will and found rest in it. Like Joseph, there are many times when the Lord seems to pull us in a different direction just as we get comfortable right where we are. This can mean spiritually, mentally, or physically.
Have you ever felt like the Lord is pulling you towards a different job than the one you’re in, when you feel just fine right where you are? Maybe you’ve devoted your schooling and money to a specific major, and the Lord calls you into something completely different. Or, maybe the Lord calls you to anew church when you’ve grown up in the one you are at all your life.
When we encounter these dreadful experiences, we are called to “Get up!” and trust that what the Lord says in Isaiah 55:9 is true: “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. This is true in both our comfort and discomfort.
I pray that when the Lord instructs us to “Get Up!”, we are able to respond to the Fathers will in looking to Joseph as an example of the Lord’s ways being higher than our own.
Author: Nola Preston