Advent

Saturday, January 2, 2020

PLOTS

When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:

“‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
    are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
    who will shepherd my people Israel.’”

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 2:1-2

Evil plots. Looming death. Danger hanging over the Christ Child. With all the power that was arrayed against Him, how would He escape?

Surely, God would provide Him with an army of angels—with the power of invisibility—with the ability to zap anybody who came within a mile of harming Him. Right?

But God didn’t do any of that. He allowed the plans of wicked men to unfold without putting any obvious barrier in their way. Was God sleeping? Or did He not care?

We can be tempted to ask that, too, when we see wicked people prospering in our world today. They seem to get away with so much. Will God not do anything?

Jesus’ birth is God’s answer. Yes, God does see. He cares enough that God came into this world as a human baby, to suffer under the same evils we do—to hang on a cross bearing our pain—and to rise from the dead, victor over all of it. Jesus proves that evil does not win in the end. God wins. And because of that, we win— for God has made us His people.

Lord, help me when I am afraid of evil, and help me to trust in You. Amen.

Reflect & Discuss

1. What particular evil are you most worried about now?

2. What do you do when you are afraid of the future?

3. How has God delivered you from evil in the past?

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Lutheran Hour Ministries (LHM) is a Christian outreach ministry supporting churches worldwide in its mission of Bringing Christ to the Nations—and the Nations to the Church. Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Capitalization of pronouns referring to the Deity has been added and is not part of the original English Standard Version text.