Summary: While life may often seem to lack coherence, Matthew 2:1-15 shows us that God gives it His own unique cadence and rhythm. Ultimately, we don't have to have all of the answers if we know the One who does, and we humbly follow His lead.
When Life Seems To Have No Rhyme
1. The Magi left for the land of Israel "on the brink…"
- “A crucial or critical threshold, beyond which success or catastrophe occurs”
- The Magi were on the brink of making a great personal discovery.
- The chief priests and teachers of the law were on the brink of getting schooled.
- Herod was on the brink of both dying and keeping his promise, but didn't know it.
2. The Magi arrived in Jerusalem "with a wink…"
- “To close and open one eye quickly as a silent hint or signal of some hidden meaning”
- The twinkling star was God's wink to the Magi that a Jewish King had been born.
- The Magi’s arrival was God’s wink to Israel that the One born was for everyone.
- The cross's inscription was God's wink to the world that Christ offers life to all.
3. The Magi arrived in Bethlehem "out of sync…"
- “Out of rhythm or agreement; not synchronized...”
- The Magi were out of sync with what Herod was planning.
- Herod was out sync with God's timing, which was flawless.
- The priests and teachers were out of sync with when Messiah was born.
- Joseph and Mary were out of sync with the need to uproot their young family.
4. The Magi returned home "in the pink…"
- “In good health, very healthy, very well, hale and hearty”
- The Magi returned home in safety because God warned them in a dream.
- Joseph, Mary, and Jesus left Bethlehem in safety by God’s direct revelation to Joseph.
- Jesus lived safely in Bethlehem and Egypt, as prophesied 700 years earlier.
We are all living "on the brink," even though we may not recognize it. Historians tell us that Herod died shortly after these events. He did not know that he was going to end up keeping his word; now he has indeed gone to the one who had been born King of the Jews, and one day, as Philippians 2:9-11 says, he will worship Him. Perhaps no one would think of giving "a cup of cold water" to a disciple of Jesus as a threshold event, but according to Matthew 10:42, it is. The Magi were were "on the brink" of making a powerful discovery as their obedience intersected with God's revelation. God calls us to obey the revelation He has given us on a daily basis. Lamentations 3:23 declares that our faithful God's acts of compassion toward us are "fresh every morning." Every day is a fresh, threshold opportunity for obedience and discovery!
As we grow in our daily walk with Christ, we will get better at recognizing those times when God approaches "with a wink." Like the star over the house or the sign over the cross, God's wink is sometimes silent. God at times seems to "hide" things in plain sight, according to Luke 10:21. There are other times when God's leading is "hidden" in the parables of Jesus, as Matthew 13:3-17 puts it. It takes some asking, seeking, and knocking to discern the truth that has been there for nearly two millennia, but in Matthew 7:7-8 Jesus promises us that God will meet our searching with His revelation. Once the "day dawns and the morning star is risen in our hearts," as 2 Peter 1:19 says, He becomes a quiet point of reference for us as we navigate life's complexities, and the master key whereby we open every door we encounter.
Indeed, life shows us that we don't always know what doors we will encounter, or when. Even as Christians, we are often "out of sync" with God in terms of His timing. God no longer comes walking into our garden paradise "in the cool of the day," as He did in Genesis 3:8. That was Eden, this is now. Besides, we need to understand that He is under no obligation to itemize an itinerary for us. In fact, we don't have the mental or emotional capacity to understand the ways of the One whose glory it is to conceal a matter, as Proverbs 25:2 says. It is enough to intimately know the Christ of Colossians 2:2-3, "in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge," as we look forward to that day when the bride of Revelation 19:7-8 will join the Bridegroom, and the two will become one. Until then, let us live by the Spirit of Christ as it says in Galatians 5:25, and learn to walk in step with Him.
When the two do become one, however, we will indeed be "in the pink." We will flourish forever in the safety and the fellowship of the One who has always been and will always be Love, according to 1 John 4:8-16. God promises us in Revelation 21:1-5 that man’s future with Him will be characterized by eternal life, health, and peace. Simply put, we will be the species (and the individuals) God intended us to be from the very beginning. As 1 Corinthians 13:12 indicates, one day our story will make perfect sense...and it will eternally rhyme.