Monday- Week 4
Flight to Egypt
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.”
Flight to Egypt by Jesua Mafa
16 When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. 17 Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled:
18“A voice is heard in Ramah,
weeping and great mourning,
Rachel weeping for her children
and refusing to be comforted,
because they are no more.”
Massacre of the Innocents (1875)
by Carl Heinrich Bloch
What does the angel tell Joseph to do?
[Take Jesus and Mary to Egypt.]
Why does the angel refer to Mary and Jesus as ‘the child and His mother’?
[This underscores the fact that ‘the child’ is not Joseph’s son, which emphasizes the fact of His virginal conception. It also indicates that quite a bit of time has passed since His nativity. As detailed in yesterday's devotional, the magi visited Jesus in a house. The holy family fled shortly after this visit (see v. 13 above).]
What was Joseph’s response?
[It is assumed that he acted immediately upon waking from the dream—leaving in the night.]
What prophecy is Matthew referring to in verse 15?
[Hosea 11:1 (see Thursday- Week 2)]
Why was Herod’s death order specifically aimed at boys aged two and below?
[Because this was the time the Magi told him they first saw the star.
This is a final clue to the age of the child when the Magi arrived (the first two clues were listed in yesterday’s devo- Sunday-Week 4, question #11).]
Why would Herod do something so terrible?
[Herod was a very evil man. He had two of his brothers-in-law (one of whom was only 17), his mother-in-law, one of his ten wives and three of his sons executed. All of these executions were based on his paranoia that someone would try to take his throne.]
Why would God allow something so terrible?
[Evil people do evil things- with free will comes the right and privilege to do good or bad. [see the ‘Close in Prayer’ section Thursday- Week 2 ].
Where is the prophecy referenced by Matthew in verse 18?
Close in Prayer
Jesus came to earth to die-- to give His life for ours, not to have it taken from Him by a would-be king of the Jews. However, God's timing for His death was already pre-determined (Daniel 9). More than once in His adult life, Jesus states, 'My time has not yet come' (John 7:1-9, 2:4). And who can thwart the plans of God? His timing and His plans will always supersede ours (Proverbs 16:9).
Pray that you would always wait on His perfect timing in your life. And if you do not know Jesus personally, ask Him to make Himself real to you. (Read: Romans 10:13; Jeremiah 29:13; Acts 16:31; 2 Peter 3:9).
Make a Joyful Sound!
Choose a song from Songs for Advent Week 4 or choose your own.