Summary: The story of the three wise men and the Holy Family's flight to Egypt shows God's tender care for every detail of our lives. We need to stay under God’s protection, count on God’s provision. and watch for God’s plan.
Holy Family Flight
Have you ever wondered what God was up to? Or whether he would help you? Or when he would answer your prayers? If so, then today’s story is for you.
I love the wise men of Christmas. Don’t you? These mysterious travelers from afar, representing a whole world in need of Christ, and following a supernatural star that guides them right to the house where the Christ child is. That word “house,” along with the word “child” (instead of “infant”) tell us that the wise men technically don’t belong in the manger scene. Personally, I still like them there, but these magi didn’t find Jesus in a manger as the shepherds did. The wise men arrived on the scene months or a year later. Jesus was so no longer an infant and his family now lived in a house.
JOKE: I read this week that if the wise men were women, they would have asked directions, arrived on time, helped deliver the baby, cleaned the stable, made a casserole, and brought practical gifts! But in their defense, they did stop once and ask for directions. In fact, I think this is the only recorded time in history when men have done such a thing.
In the story of the wise men and the Holy Family’s flight to Egypt, I see God’s tender care and his personal involvement in our lives down to the finest detail. Today I have three suggestions from the story: First, stay under God’s protection. Second, count on God’s provision. And third, watch for God’s plan. So let’s begin with our first point, which is to ...
1. Stay under God’s protection. God is our ultimate security. Sure, you can buy house alarms and car alarms. You can purchase travel insurance. You must have health insurance. But ultimately, anything can happen, as some of you know. There are no guarantees in this life, except for Jesus. The Bible says, “All of God's promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding ‘Yes!’” (2 Corinthians 1:20, NLT). When God promises to protect us, Jesus keeps the promise by giving us eternal life. People can hurt us. Words can attack us. Businesses can steal from us. Disease can ravage our bodies. But “if God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31). What’s the worst thing that could happen? We could die ... and then we go to heaven. That’s not so bad, is it?
In today’s story, note how God protected the Holy Family. He got them out of town when the evil King Herod plotted their destruction. History tells us that Herod murdered his wife, two of his sons, his mother-in-law, brother-in-law, uncle, and lots of others, including all the children under two years of age born at the time of Jesus’ birth. That’s why Herod wanted to know the timing of the star. Yet God intervened and saved Jesus and his family.
But note that God did not stop the other infants and toddlers in Bethlehem from dying. I’m sure the grieving families that day wondered where their Holy Protector was. In the eternal perspective of Christianity, those babies got an immediate promotion to heaven. They didn’t have to grow up in this sinful world. Now I wouldn’t recommend telling that to a parent who just lost their child; they probably wouldn’t be ready to hear it. But the truth is, our ultimate protection is found in our eternal security as children of God. The Bible says once you are truly saved, no one can pluck you out of God’s hand.
We cooperate with God’s protective plan as we abide with Jesus our Savior. When we rebel against this love relationship with our Lord, we set ourselves up for unnecessary worldly harm, as sin’s consequences catch up to us. But when we abide, when we remain with God in prayer, in scripture each day, we begin to catch God’s perspective and to have our anxieties quieted by his protective presence. We learn that God is not only our creator but also our sustainer.
That word, “sustainer,” brings us to our next point. Stay under God’s protection, and secondly ...
2. Count on God’s provision. There is an old saying: “Where God guides, God provides.” When Moses complained that he couldn’t speak adequately to deliver God’s people from Egyptian slavery, God gave him Aaron who would speak for him. When God calls you to a task, he will give you the means to carry it out.
Now the Holy Family was poor. They offered the poor person’s sacrifice at Jesus’ baby dedication, so we know they didn’t have many assets to their name. Their First Nazareth Bank account was perilously low. How in the world were they going to fund an international trip to Egypt?