Day #2: When Evil Men Rule

"After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, 'Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship Him.' When Herod heard this he was disturbed..."   Matthew 2:1-3, NIV


It is interesting to see how quickly evil men perceive any threat to their power. As soon as Herod (who was king in the region with the most important concentration of Jews on earth), heard that the "King of the Jews" had been born, he was disturbed. He immediately tried to find out all that he could about this king and then set the wheels in motion to have Jesus killed. In his lust for power he went so far as to kill every male under the age of two in Bethlehem and its region.


The lesson: Do not underestimate the capacity of evil men to do evil.


Now consider this: It did not work! All of King Herod's attempts to wipe out any possible threat to his power failed because God was always one step ahead. Before the Magi headed back to let Herod know where the Messiah was, God warned them against doing so. Before Herod could get his men to Bethlehem to kill Jesus, God had Joseph escape with his family to Egypt. When Herod died and a man just as evil took his place, God continued to protect Jesus and his parents.


The lesson: God's purpose cannot be thwarted.


The coming of the Savior into a lost world was one of the most important events in human history. The Bible reveals that this event was planned by God before the creation of the world, and God was more than aware that evil men (who were firmly under the power of Satan whether they realized it or not), would seek to prevent the Christ from fulfilling His mission of salvation. But regardless of the power and influence that evil men may wield in this world of ours, it is never enough to thwart the plans of God.


I believe this is an important truth for us to consider in times such as the one we live in now. It would be good for us not to lose our focus on the vital lessons that we read in Scripture, nor to take our eyes off of the Messiah and His way of life. It is also good for us to be aware that evil men will stop at nothing to try to maintain their power. One of their methods, for whatever reason, has always been an attempt to reduce the influence of Christ in our lives. But, being aware is not enough. Mary and Joseph had to act upon the knowledge that evil men were seeking the life of Jesus. When they had this knowledge, they did everything in their power to prevent evil men from destroying the One who was precious and holy.


Can we do anything else?


Today's reading is from the 2nd chapter of Matthew. I pray that God will richly bless your efforts as you seek Him and His Son!