THE CHRISTMAS STORY IN MATTHEW’S GOSPEL — 3
Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, "Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him."
When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt, and was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, "Out of Egypt I called My Son."
There are times when the best place to hide from your enemy is in plain sight. Egypt is often used to represent the world we are to be separated from and yet also to live in. As children we need our parents protection until we begin a readiness to face the challenges of life. Mary and Joseph were guided by The Lord to flee to Egypt to protect God’s son. We can only imagine the hardships and difficulties they experienced on that journey, but this would prove to be an essential part of God’s plan.
This passage shows the necessity of hearing the Holy Spirit’s voice to us and faithfully following His direction — we do not know what lies ahead, but He does. Notice too that the angel speaks again to Joseph in a dream, not to Mary. This shows us that the Holy Spirit speaks to ‘the man’ — the Holy Spirit — within us. Effectively, the Holy Spirit communicates with Himself, and we can only ‘hear’ if we have that baptism in the Spirit.
The night here is the darkness before the dawn’s light, when the evil one has passed by and been revealed as the Spirit who brings only death in his wake. It must also be remembered that in the time of Moses, the Egyptians persecuted the Hebrews — the Jews — and of course, the time would come when The Jews would also persecute their ‘Anointed One’. Jesus had to be seen as one who came out of Egypt, just as they had done so many years before. And we too must come out of Egypt before we can have the Christlife. Sometimes the lessons we need to learn would be impossible to bear without our Lord’s saving and forgiving heart.
‘MEDITATE ON THESE THINGS’
HOSEA 11:1-2 NKJV
When Israel was a child, I loved him,
And out of Egypt I called My son.
As they called them,
So they went from them;
They sacrificed to the Baals,
And burned incense to carved images.
“Immanuel” — Songs of Praise
A HOLY COMMAND: Oswald Chambers on Love
GEORGE and GILL STEWART