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Know God in a Year #18 The Gift of Recognition

Unlike the shepherds, the Magi haven’t been prepared for Jesus’ poverty. They still expect, at the least, a royal entourage.

Arriving in Bethlehem, they again wonder at the absence of any sign of preparation for this awesome event or any guard for this baby king. This is highly irregular for the birth of royalty. He’s a descendent of the great King David–so yes, David’s hometown for his birthplace makes sense, but why doesn’t anybody know?

They are open to the Spirit of God and when they see Jesus, their hearts are melted and moved. They know Him. Spirit enlightens them to recognize divinity. They worship Him and delightedly give Him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

Once again God provides. These gifts will finance Joseph and Mary’s stay in Egypt. Through a dream, God directs Joseph to go there because Herod will soon try to kill the child.

The Magi are also directed in a dream to not return to Herod, but to go home another way.

This gives the baby and his parents time to leave Bethlehem before Herod’s fear and anger sends soldiers to tiny Bethlehem to destroy all babies and toddlers under two. The “slaughter of the innocents” in Bethlehem was Satan’s first attempt to take Jesus’ life. There’s no secular record because killing was normal for Herod and Bethlehem was so small.

The point is made, that had the people in Bethlehem been walking with God and  looking for their Messiah, God could have, and would have, protected them from Herod’s wrath, ignited by Satan in this cosmic war. We are still in that war.

Matthew 2:10-18

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