Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.”
(Matthew 2:7-8 ESV)
Yesterday we read the amazing prophecy from the Old Testament prophet Micah in which he accurately named the town Jesus would be born in, 750 years before He was born. This is just one of hundreds of detailed predictions the Bible makes, many of which have already come true (including dozens regarding Jesus). Those that have yet to come true relate to the end-of-times just before and after Jesus returns to earth.
While Herod, when told of this prophecy, believed in its historical accuracy (he sent them to Bethlehem), its amazing precision had no effect on him. He was not interested in the rest of what God had to say. He did not humble himself in the face of overwhelming evidence of God’s existence and the truthfulness of scripture.
We know this from the fact that he summoned the wise men secretly wanting to know what time the star had appeared. He did this under the guise of wanting to worship the new-born king too. But if that were true it would make no difference when the magi saw the star. Herod only wanted to know when the star appeared so he could ascertain how old the child was now so he could kill him, as we’ll read shortly.
Here we see a great example of the truth being brought to someone’s attention but it having no effect on their life. Herod was presented with an amazing prophecy and proof that it had come true. Yet he didn’t care. It went right over his head because he had hardened his heart which prevented him from seeing the truth even when it was right in front of him [Ephesians 4:18].
The truth of Jesus has been made known to many people, only a few of whom will actually believe [Matthew 7:13-14; Luke 8:4-15]. God is trying to get everyone’s attention to save them from hell [2 Peter 3:9; 1 Timothy 2:3-4]. Most people, though, go through life ignoring the message God has provided. They don’t realize, or accept, the significance of the contents of the Bible.
Instead, like Herod, they are only concerned with their own earthly (i.e. temporary) interests without realizing that this is at the expense of their eternal (i.e. permanent) welfare. These people may accumulate lots of money, prestigious job titles, and big houses here on earth. But none of that is important.
Ultimately, having a relationship with God through Jesus is the only thing that matters [Matthew 7:21-22]. Everything else will pass away. Ignoring that truth will lead to devastating results.
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