Saturday, December 18 Devotional

T is for Trouble

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; Matt. 2:1-3

We often pass over parts of the Christmas story that are found in Matthew 2. Sure, we think about the wise men going to give Jesus gifts, but we don’t talk a lot about Herod and the trouble that he caused.

As it says in the verse above, Herod was troubled when he heard that these men were looking for someone who was to be born king of the Jews. Why was Herod upset? Herod was jealous and envious that someone was going to try to take his throne and authority away from him. He liked being king over this region, and he wanted it to stay that way.

Herod felt that he couldn’t allow this event to happen. He first tried to trick the wise men into reporting back to him after the baby was born. But the wise men were warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, so they traveled home another way.

When Herod realized that they tricked him, he was even more angry. He did something truly unthinkable in his desire to keep his power. He ordered his soldiers to go to Bethlehem, find every male child two years old and younger, and kill them. Herod caused great trouble and sadness for families who had their little boys taken away from them.

Satan ultimately caused all this trouble, through Herod, because he lives to cause trouble and distress in the world and to God’s people. He opposes Christians daily, but he is a defeated enemy. Jesus escaped from Satan’s plan and was kept safe by his Father. God will keep us safe from trouble and in the troubles we experience, as we trust him.

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