DECEMBER 23 / MATTHEW 2:13-18

After the wise men were gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up! Flee to Egypt with the child and his mother,” the angel said. “Stay there until I tell you to return, because Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”

That night Joseph left for Egypt with the child and Mary, his mother, and they stayed there until Herod’s death. This fulfilled what the Lord had spoken through the prophet: “I called my Son out of Egypt.”

Herod was furious when he realized that the wise men had outwitted him. He sent soldiers to kill all the boys in and around Bethlehem who were two years old and under, based on the wise men’s report of the star’s first appearance. Herod’s brutal action fulfilled what God had spoken through the prophet Jeremiah: “A cry was heard in Ramah-- weeping and great mourning. Rachel weeps for her children, refusing to be comforted, for they are dead.” 

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How hard would it have been for Joseph to wake his family in the middle of the night to begin a trip to another country? What might have happened if Joseph had not obeyed immediately?

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“Lord Jesus, You woke Joseph in the middle of the night with instructions. Joseph immediately woke Mary and Jesus, and left everything to go to Egypt. Help us to be recognized for our immediate obedience to Your clear command.”

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