Thursday, February 18, 2021

Today’s Reading - Matthew 2:1-23


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


The Magi play a significant part in the birth of Christ and they have a place in our heart as we recall the story. They brought gifts and gift giving has been part of the celebration of His birth as broadly as any part of the story. A person may not acknowledge the spiritual side of His story, but they will give gifts. Beyond that, the Magi drove home the importance of hearing and listening to the correct voices in our life. Imagine what would have happened if they had believed Herod instead of the voice of the Lord in a dream. Herod told them he wanted to know where Jesus was because he wanted to worship him, but the truth is he wanted to kill him. They listened to the right voice. Imagine if Joseph after hearing the angel of the Lord had listened to his friends and maybe Mary who said don’t go to Egypt because they are the enemy and we will become slaves again. Joseph listened to the right voice. Joseph heard from the angel again when it was time to return to Nazareth. In most all these instances we find in this chapter of God speaking to people there is fulfillment of prophecy related to God speaking. When God speaks to us, or we sense God’s prompting in our life, there is kingdom value at stake. The value may not be obvious at first, but God does not prompt us without desiring to advance His kingdom. It was obvious to Joseph why he needed to go. And he went regardless of what other voices were saying. The Magi and Joseph illustrate the value of desiring to hear from God, being intentional to hear His voice, digesting what was heard (listening), and then taking action. That covers a lot about what it means to be a follower of Christ and desiring to have an ever maturing faith. It’s advancing the kingdom of God. It’s becoming a holy vessel.


Heavenly Father, nothing but good comes from hearing your voice. Teach us to listen and be obedient. Give us discernment to know when opposing voices are trying to lead us in the wrong direction. Give us discernment to know when something appears to confirm what we hear from You but is not. Give us open ears to your voice. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.