Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.”
King Herod was deeply disturbed when he heard this, as was everyone in Jerusalem. He called a meeting of the leading priests and teachers of religious law and asked, “Where is the Messiah supposed to be born?”
“In Bethlehem in Judea,” they said, “for this is what the prophet wrote:
‘And you, O Bethlehem in the land of Judah,
Are not least among the ruling cities of Judah,
For a ruler will come from you
Who will be the shepherd for my people Israel.” Matthew 2:1-6
King Herod was disturbed. His plan for long term power was disturbed. He didn’t want the competition, didn’t want the power shift. He had killed to preserve this plan before and he would do it again.
What did he think would happen? He thought enough of the prophecies to ask the leading priests and teachers of the law where the Messiah was to be born, so in that, he trusted God to know.
Darkness took its turn. Herod ordered every boy in Bethlehem and the surrounding area two years and younger to be murdered. He thought he could thwart the plan of God and preserve his own throne.
First of all, what arrogance to believe he (we?) could destroy what God had ordained. Did he think himself a god? Do we try to preserve our own throne? Secondly, what evil is brought into the world when we fight the will of God. Personal power plays give us amnesia that one day we will die and one day we will talk to God about our lives.
What would have happened if Herod would have rejoiced at the news of the Messiah’s birth? What change of circumstance would have Jesus found himself in? Life would have granted him both riches and power from infancy. This would have changed the plan of God for the redemption of the world. The lowly would not have found themselves in a world of grace. The world would still be divided between the haves and have nots. Blessing from God looking more like the material again. That is something to ponder.
So when you see people playing out their evil schemes, open your eyes and look. While evil is played with in this world, God’s ultimate plan will not be derailed. Is it painless? Hardly. Evil people doing evil things hurt people. Is the evil perpetrated going to be used to alter the course of humanity into alignment of what must happen for the glory of God to be revealed? That sounds more like our God.
Trust that God knows even when we find ourselves in the dark places. He has a plan that no amount of fighting will change. God loves us enough to shine a light in the dark that points to his salvation. Remember that our God cares enough to save, cares enough to listen and has a plan. Just wait and see.