When the Christ-child was born, Herod determined to kill him for “political” reasons. But Mary and Joseph were warned about Herod’s intentions and were told to take Jesus to Egypt for a few years. They obeyed the angel—a messenger of God. And what did Herod do? He ordered the slaughter of every male baby two years and younger!
I read that passage this past week and it keeps haunting me. Joseph and Mary obeyed God (i.e. they fled to Egypt to protect Jesus) and who knows how many little baby boys were murdered because Herod could not get his hands on Jesus! What a lesson in life and how this crazy world works. If you obey God don’t be surprised if you are hated because of the collateral damage! The parents of these little boys had done nothing wrong! Their babies were innocent! And yet this wicked man murdered them because he could not find Jesus.
Two points: It’s not the fault of Jesus’ parents that Herod killed the babies. The blood is on HEROD’S hands, not theirs. Bad things often happen to good people—innocent babies!—but don’t blame God. This was ALL Herod’s doing. Today some would suggest that it would have been better that Joseph and Mary had allowed Herod to kill Jesus than for many, many others to die because of Him. But of course we now know that the entire human race can now be redeemed because Jesus did live! We see life through a microscope, but praise God, He sees life through a telescope! The second point is that we’ve been called to obedience and not to explanations. We obey and realize we are not entitled to explanations as to “why”. Joseph and Mary simply trusted God and did what He said. My parents were lenient and gracious to us, but the ONE THING that would get my dad angry instantly was to be questioned! If we asked him, “Why?” the answer was, “Because I said so!”
There’s a certain sort of peace that can be ours when we realize we do NOT have a right to know “why”, but rather an obligation to be obedient children. Others might suffer when we obey, but it is NOT because we obey that they suffer, but rather because we live in a world that is still in the enemy’s territory. Do we trust what we see or what HE sees?