And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt I called my son.”
(Matthew 2:14-15 ESV)
Today we read another of the events in Jesus’ life which fulfilled prophecy. As we learned in our introduction to our study, Matthew’s purpose in writing his gospel account was to demonstrate that Jesus is the long-awaited Messiah promised in the Old Testament. Matthew proves this by comparing things that Jesus did and said to Old Testament prophecies. These prophecies, written hundreds of years before, were very specific and we see that Jesus fulfilled them exactly.
One of those prophecies was written by the prophet Hosea [Hosea 11:1]. In it God foretells that His son (who was Jesus) would be called out of Egypt. This prophecy was penned approximately 750 years before Jesus was born and it came true exactly as Joseph and Mary fled to Egypt to escape the wrath of Herod.
I find this passage very interesting because in it we see that long before Jesus was born… long before Joseph met Mary… long before Herod was born… God knew what was going to happen and already had a plan to deal with it.
God sees our future. He knows all the decisions we will face. He knows all the people who will come into our lives and disrupt it. He knows all the trouble that we will encounter. He already has solutions to these issues and wants to make those solutions known to us, as He did to Joseph and Mary. The problem is, unlike Joseph and Mary, we don’t always hear Him or listen to Him.
Surely it was not necessary for Joseph to pick up his family and flee all the way to Egypt. He could have hidden out in a nearby town or gone back to Nazareth, Mary’s hometown. It would have been easy for Joseph to come up with an alternative plan that made more sense to him and made life easier for himself and his family. But he did not try to reason this out. He trusted that God knew more than he did and so he rose at night and departed to Egypt, taking the child and His mother.
When me make decisions based on our own limited understanding we make a mess of things. This is exactly why the world has so many problems, none of which ever seems to get solved. Our so-called “solutions” only create more problems that we can’t solve.
God knows what is best for us; we do not [Jeremiah 29:11; Psalm 14:12]. When we rely on our own understanding we fail [Proverbs 3:5-6]. This is because we don’t see the big picture. We can’t see past now. We can’t see all the ramifications of our decisions.
But God can see everything, including the future. He wants to steer us through life so as to give us the best life possible. We just have to listen and heed His advice.
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