马太福音2:13 他们去后，有主的使者向约瑟梦中显现，说：「起来！带着小孩子同他母亲逃往埃及，住在那里，等我吩咐你；因为希律必寻找小孩子，要除灭他。」14 约瑟就起来，夜间带着小孩子和他母亲往埃及去，15 住在那里，直到希律死了。这是要应验主借先知所说的话，说：「我从埃及召出我的儿子来。」
Matthew 2:13-15:13 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.”
No one plans in advance better than God does. How could this young family survive traveling to Egypt? Uprooting your family and getting out of town fast is expensive. Living in a foreign land is expensive – and scary, too. But they had the expensive gifts from the Magi to give them money for their journey, which was probably all they needed to fund their stay in Egypt. Oh, and by the way, another prophecy is fulfilled, which is another example of God’s advanced planning.
I have worked with many families on end of life issues when they found out they had cancer or some other illness that would take their life. I’ve always told them not to worry, because God has already scripted in his mind what their journey to heaven will look like. I’ve told them that when this journey comes to an end, you will wonder at how God made everything work out, even beyond what you could have imagined. And even when we might have reason to doubt those things, sometimes God’s real purposes and plans are hidden from our eyes. Your whole life has been planned by God!
One other comment for today on this text. Do you realize that our Savior was for a time an immigrant in a foreign land? He knows what that’s like. When you meet an immigrant, instead of asking in your mind whether or not they are legal or illegal, just remember to receive them in Jesus’ name. Being here is scary enough. Our acts of kindness in Jesus’ name are important.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, you did not come into this world to suffer no wrong or to live a life of ease. You came to experience all the hardships that we must experience. But not even Herod could your Father from carrying out his plan! In the difficult days of my life, help me to remember that God has a plan for me, too, because I am his child through faith in you. Amen.
马太福音2:16 希律见自己被博士愚弄，就大大发怒，差人将伯利恒城里并四境所有的男孩，照着他向博士仔细查问的时候，凡两岁以里的，都杀尽了。17 这就应了先知耶利米的话，说：18 在拉玛听见号咷大哭的声音，是拉结哭她儿女，不肯受安慰，因为他们都不在了。19 希律死了以后，有主的使者在埃及向约瑟梦中显现，说：20 「起来！带着小孩子和他母亲往以色列地去，因为要害小孩子性命的人已经死了。」
Herod was a brutal monster. What threat was an innocent child to his kingdom? Yet he gave the order to kill all the boys in the region of Bethlehem who were two or younger. Can you imagine the hundreds of mothers who grieved for their loss?
Yesterday we heard on the news that New York passed legislation that would permit the abortion of children up to the time of their birth. How many thousands of innocent children will be slaughtered? And what threat does an innocent child make to the life of its mother? Couldn’t this life be spared and given to another rather than murdered in the doctor’s office?
There is another cost than just the life of a child in all of this. Have you ever spoken to a woman who grieved for rest of her life the death of her child through abortion? I have. I don’t know if I have ever encountered a grief so deep and burdensome as that. Losing a child is a horrible grief, imagining what that child might have become. When that grief is compounded by guilt, it is overwhelming.
What do you say to such a guilt? You tell that person that their sins are forgiven in Jesus. You set aside your anger and revulsion and speak with the compassion that only another sinner can have who kneels at the foot of the cross every day for today’s sin and past sins. Realize that every time that mother sees a sign that says that abortion takes a human life, she will be driven into that pit of despair and guilt. Only the sweet gospel can cure the soul that is filled with guilt and grief at the same time.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we are saddened when we see our culture become so hardened that it would permit a child to be destroyed even before it is born. Open the eyes of our nation to see that every child is a treasure to protect and nurture. If we poured our resources into protecting the unborn, we would realize a dividend many times over, not only from them, but from you. Give every mother and mother-to-be a love for her child. And for those who grieve a child who died at their hands, bring peace and healing that only your forgiveness can give. Amen.