Tuesday, January 4, 2011
JANUARY 4—Eleventh Day of Christmas
7Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared. 8And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also."
Important men from the east have come into Herod's territory bearing tribute—lavish gifts for a powerful ruler. Thus Herod hears that there is a rightful son of David to rule over Israel's throne, and so he claims he wishes to do obeisance to the newly born king.
This may remind us of people who claim to be searching for God, and make a wish that He appear to them suddenly with some sign, and they will worship. But of course, the sentiment is as insincere as was Herod's.
Herod was threatened. Backed into his corner, he did not wish to bow the knee (worship), but to attack the Son. And yet, for all that, Herod unwittingly becomes a support to these visitors from the east. His deceitful words serve to encourage them in their search. For the moment, they were looking in the capital instead of following the star; now they are fortified again to find wisdom in the foolishness of God, and ultimately, in the unlikely town of Bethlehem.
And ironically, they are sent there by Herod himself. And God, the God of the stars of the heavens—one of which led these easterners to the house of His Messiah—God sits in those heavens and laughs.
—Elder Tim Gallant, Christ Covenant Church, Grande Prairie, AB, Canada
Our great and Almighty Father, You have set Your King to reign upon Your own holy hill. We thank You that You have brought us to bend the knee before Him. According to Your promise, we pray that Your kingdom would come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven, that the nations would likewise bow before Your Son Jesus Christ, to the glory of Your Name forever, AMEN.
Discuss how the coming of Christ's rule threatens the order of things in this world—and how God overrules the plots of threatened men in order to establish His kingdom.