Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.” Matthew 2:1-2 NKJV
A few years ago, I passed a Nativity scene near my home. The simple structures were at least forty years old. The faded plastic stood proudly without touchup or fanfare as a testament to tradition.
The Joseph, Mary and baby were placed prominently in a simple display. Yet, it was the Wise Men that caught my attention.
“And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.” Psalms 9:10
The Wise Men actively sought The Messiah. The Bible is full of verses about seeking God. These men were wise enough to seek, recognize and worship giving the very best that they had. They did not despise their journey. Why do we despise our hard roads that bring us to God?
Is there a lesson in that?
My curiosity piqued, I read those first chapters of Matthew again. “Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way.” Matthew 2:12
King Herod never indicated to these men he was threatened by the birth of Jesus. Herod lied and told them to return so he could also worship him. However, these Wise Men heeded the warning not to return the way they had come.
I can think of a few instances I would have benefited by heeding the warnings God gave me not to go a way that looked harmless. I didn’t recognize my “warnings.”
The Wise Men did.
I wonder if their zeal to seek God made it easier for the Wise Men to hear from God? Not only did they recognize their “warning,” they obeyed it.
I can’t say that I’ve always done the same. Still, I’m hoping to end this year wiser than I began.
Presents under the tree are nice, but the best gifts can’t be purchased…
“For wisdom [is] better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.” Proverbs 8:11
“The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of knowledge; [but] fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:7
“Happy [is] the man [that] findeth wisdom, and the man [that] getteth understanding.” Proverbs 3:13