01/02

January 2

Matthew 2

 

In this one chapter, we see four Old Testament prophecies being fulfilled, Asian men having a divine intervention, and Joseph having three supernatural encounters. 

 

WISE MEN

We often see three wise men in our nativity sets at Christmas, but they weren’t there at his birth. They came later on when he was a toddler. Also, just because there were three gifts doesn’t mean there were three men; there could have been more than three. Also, they come from the east, so they were most likely Asian. We don’t know when they started towards Jerusalem, but we know they saw the star that appeared at his birth. We don’t know from how far away they traveled, but if Jesus was close to two years old, it could have been quite a distance. 

 

The wise men went to Jerusalem to inquire of where the king of the Jews was born, traveling a great distance, all based on something they passionately believed in when they saw the star. Their star charting led them to Jerusalem. Herod was deeply troubled by the news, fearing a king would rise and defeat Rome. Herod gathered all the Jewish priests and scribes to ask about this king and where he would be born. They knew the answer from the prophecy in Micah 5:2. It was Bethlehem. Once Herod had that information, he told the wise men to find the boy so he could also worship Him. They found him, no longer in a stable, but in a home. The wise men worshipped him, giving him treasures, treasures that God used to finance the family and care for His son. 

 

God intervened to protect the Christ. He gave the wise men a dream and warned them not to return to Herod. Then an angel appeared to Joseph in a dream and instructed him to take the family to Egypt. Joseph, knowing he was raising the Messiah, did what the angel instructed. 

 

PROPHECIES FULFILLED

The first prophecy fulfilled was in Micah 5:2 that said Jesus would be born in Bethlehem, a small town bringing forth the greatest king the world has ever known and will ever know. 

 

Herod ordered every Jewish boy in Bethlehem and two years and under to be killed – all to stop a king that would rise up underneath Roman rule. God knew ahead of time that this tragic event would happen. It doesn’t mean that God orchestrated the event; He only foretold of it happening (Jeremiah 31:15). 

 

Also, God knew He would send the family to Egypt because it was prophesied through Balaam, “Out of Egypt I called My Son (Numbers 24:8). Out of Egypt God would call His Son, a place where God had also called His people out from, a place where the firstborn was saved by applying blood on the doorposts of their homes. Coincidence? No. 

 

They lived in Egypt for some time, then the Lord appears to Joseph in a dream to go back to Israel. Then in going to Judea, the Lord warns Joseph in another dream to go into Galilee, and he went to Nazareth, causing another prophecy to be fulfilled from Judges 13:5.

 

Genesis 4-6

 

It doesn’t take the human race long to experience our first murder. Cain kills his brother, Abel, in chapter 4. He kills him out of anger, knowing Abel’s animal sacrifice was accepted by God, but his sacrifice of fruit. Abel was a shepherd, and Cain was a farmer. The reason Abel’s sacrifice was accepted is because he followed God’s instruction to offer blood to cover part of the price for their sin. Cain should have gone to Abel to purchase or ask for one of his animals, acknowledging his sin and his need for forgiveness. 

 

In chapter 5, we read of Adam’s genealogy. Is this important? Yes, because later on the Jews trace their lineage back to Adam. 

 

In chapter 6, we read about Noah, a humble man of faith who obeys God by building a structure no one has ever made for a flood no one has ever seen before. In verse 3, God gives the human race 120 years to repent while Noah builds the ark. In Hebrews 11:7 it says, “By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen… this took faith to do something never done before. 

 

The rest of Hebrews 11: 7 says, “… moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.” 

 

God decided on the flood because the wickedness of the earth had grown very evil in a very short amount of time. God saw how people were opposing Him, but also harming themselves and one another. God’s aim was to start over with Noah and his family, slowing down the rapid spread of sin. 

 

In 2 Peter 2:5, Peter calls Noah a “preacher of righteousness.” The Greek word for preacher means “one who announces.” Noah warned the people of what was coming, but they rejected it. Therefore, Noah condemned them in their rebellion, or judged them as worthy of punishment. God gave the people the opportunity to repent, and it was their choice to reject Him. Today, let you and I decided to live in surrender to our loving Father and resist sin and pride. If we do, it will be well with us!

 

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