Word for Wednesday

And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way. Matthew 2:12

Did you ever wonder why those wise men never reappeared to look up Jesus later in His life? They were so excited by His birth and the fact that He was a king that it seems likely they would have wanted to check up on him later. I am sure they did want to do so, perhaps to see how His boyhood went, to see what education He received, and to examine His ministry. But they would not have dared. By refusing to return to Herod, those wise men made a bitter and savage enemy in that murderous old despot. A price would have been placed on their heads, a price that would continue even after Herod was dead, because Archelaus and others who followed would not want a usurper anywhere near. The wise men made the right decision, but they paid a price for doing so. Sometimes we have to do the same.

The wise men had made a mistake in checking with Herod in the first place, albeit an understandable mistake. The warning from God in a dream was well received, and they obeyed. They knew they were snubbing Herod, and they knew they were burning a major bridge in doing so. But they were willing to do what was right, regardless of the cost. That is a good attitude for us today. We know what is right, but do we always do it? It might cost us a few dollars to be totally honest on our income tax form. It might cost us some entertainment or pleasure to always be at the meetings of the Assembly. It might cost us a nice vacation to always be supporting the Gospel meetings that are in our area. It might cost us some popularity to refuse to attend company or community functions that feature drinking and immorality. It might cost us a few friends to speak a word of witness or testimony for our Lord when we are among fellow-workers or other people. Yes, there are costs to obedience. But there are no losses!

The wise men honoured God’s direction, even though they might not have known the Scripture that tells us that God honours those who honour Him (1 Samuel 2:30). This is a divine principle that we can be confident of, and on which we can base our decisions and our principles. No one has ever been the loser for putting God’s interests first and foremost.

The wise men made a wise decision, and will receive a wise man’s reward. How wise are we? -Jim MacIntosh

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