As part of a devotional series we are doing at Vineyard of Harvest, we are looking to finish the New Testament, Genesis, Exodus and Ezra in 180 days. Here are thoughts on the first two chapters of Matthew.
v. 19 – Joseph is a man of action and considerate – reminds me of Boaz (v3) who is the redeemer figure in the book of Ruth. God likes to place people of action around us – administrative folks 🙂 – I’m reminded that their journey can often lead to a crisis of taking action in the face of sorrow. Let’s pray for these people to have encouragement from the Holy Spirit to keep persevering.
vv. 1-5 – Herod fits nicely into a trope repeated throughout history and literature: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/NiceJobBreakingItHerod. If he had studied Greek mythology he would have known that trying to stop prophecy only seems to accelerate its fulfillment. He is a reminder that history repeats itself and does so at the expense of those foolish enough to gamble on the belief that might makes right.
vv. 13-18 – These scenes are played out in a much more epic scale in Revelation: https://lifehopeandtruth.com/prophecy/revelation/revelation-12/ and fits in with the man-trying-to-beat-prophecy theme in vv. 1-5. The tragic part of the story though, is v. 16, when the children are ordered to be killed, echoing the story of Moses and intimating that Moses, another prominent figure in the Messiah-deliverer tradition, was an image of Jesus. One has to wonder, was the tragedy necessary at all? Is God in a sense condemning innocent people to die to protect his perfect plan? I would like to pose this question for interpretation: Were people to attempt to pose their will on God and resulted in the death of many children, would it paint an image of God as a deity removed from parenting his children or as one who is ready to correct and discipline? In other words, if God were to intervene in every war, power struggle, disease epidemic and save every child without any effort from us, without any way of informing his people that life is frail and should be treasured, would that make him more or less benevolent?