The Magi were looking for the truth in God even though they lived in a culture that did not know Him by name. Whether they had prophesies left hundreds of years before by Daniel and the other exiles, or whether God simply made it clear to them in their star gazing or some other means…they really wanted to know the deeper things of God and life and they found Him!
Meanwhile, King Herod, who was ruling the Hebrew people had easy access to all of the teachings of God, but he was careless about this knowledge and was focused on achieving the greatest this world had to offer. So he was not only oblivious to the marvelous thing happening in his land, but he was hostile to the wonders of God because his heart was hard.
Matthew spoke of dreams and prophecies because the Jews were accustomed to looking for signs of God in this way. Western culture has generally stopped looking for God in such things. Years of scientific advance taught us that we could understand everything through rational thought. Of course, if you’re aware of the most advanced sciences (which almost none of us are), you know that it has stretched to understand that this world is not orderly and predictable like it was thought for the last few hundred years, but is really strange and weird underneath.….
Is God trying to speak to you in ways that you are missing? Have you fallen into the trap of believing that life is as simple as the things that you see with your eyes and hear with your ears? What is God trying to show you? Ask Him to reveal Himself to you in your surroundings, in the events that occur in your life, even in your dreams. He is there in all of it, if you will seek Him!
As mentioned in the last chapter, Matthew quotes several prophets of the Old Testament who predicted the exact details of the life of the coming Messiah. I’ll only mention two…
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” Micah 5:2
As He so often does, God shows the parallel to His earlier work, “When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.” Hosea 11:1
There are a couple more just in this one chapter. It’s amazing to think God gave so many different people, at different times, all these different details about the coming Messiah, and that, finally, one Man came and fulfilled them all! (see Heb 1:1-2)
Now that is a calling! But in the same way, we each have our own calling known before time that He is drawing us to step into. What is He calling you to?
It’s amazing how God adds to my understanding as I begin to type thoughts out, will you join in?