December 28, 2014


Matthew 2:16-23

When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious …
—Matthew 2:16


Herod was determined to have his way. He did not want a new king to threaten his position. He was willing to use his power, resources, and deception to make sure that Jesus would not get in his way.

But God is far greater than any ruler in this world. In a dream he warned the Magi, and they took a different way home. God outwitted Herod and thwarted his plan to kill Jesus.

When we are accustomed to getting our own way, interference can lead to outrage. Herod was furious because he was used to getting what he wanted. But God’s plans and Herod’s desires could not coexist. Herod tried to fool the Magi into thinking they would help him honor the new king, but he actually wanted to make sure that Jesus would not become a threat to his power.

God doesn’t always break into everyday life to give clear messages. But in the stories of Jesus’ birth, God acts in unique and clear ways to make certain his plan will succeed. Even the powerful rulers of the world could not stop him.

God’s plans may frustrate us when we would like to see our desires given higher priority, but it is comforting to know that God is more than capable of making his plans succeed, despite any opposition.

We praise you for your power and wisdom, O Lord. Help us to find our security in you and in your ability to defeat all the powers that wish to do harm. In the name of our Savior, Jesus. Amen.

About the author — Bill Sytsma

Bill Sytsma is a graduate of Calvin Theological Seminary (M.Div) and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (D.Min). He is the author of the book Follow the Leader and is serving as the pastor of New Life Christian Reformed Church in Highland, Indiana. He and his wife, Staci, have hosted support groups for families built through adoption. He and Staci are the proud parents of three active boys: Luke, Isaac, and Nico.

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