God protects his own
A great lesson in Matthew 2 is that God protects his own. The Lord frustrated Herod’s attempts to kill the newborn Jesus.
He warned the wise men by means of a dream not to return to Herod, but to go back by another way. “But God warned them in a dream not to go back to Herod. So they returned to their country on a different road” Mt 2.12 NIRV.
The Lord’s angel also appeared to Joseph in a dream and told him to flee to Egypt, in order to get away from Herod, Mt 2.13.
It bears noting that God does not protect everyone at all times from everything that evil people can do. Herod’s order to kill all the boys under two years of age was carried out, Mt 2.16. We know this because Matthew says it fulfilled the prophecy of Jeremiah, Mt 2.17-18.
This must have been a horrible event. But we cannot blame the wise men, nor even God for it. Responsibility rests solely upon Herod. Some people might question that, if God could save Jesus, he could have saved all the other little boys in Bethlehem. Evil exists in the world, and God is not responsible for letting evil do its worst. His plan is larger than to immediately stop to some evil deed. (See Psa 73.)
We do not have the privilege today of receiving dreams from God or being visited by an angel. But the same God works today to protect his people from ultimate harm. Jesus said he would be with us as we fulfilled his mission, Mt 28.20. His presence with us means his power to obey his order and protection against evil.
King David’s praise is also our song: ” “God’s way is perfect. The Lord’s word doesn’t have any flaws. He protects like a shield all who go to him for safety” 2 Sam 22.31. He also protects all who go out into the world to do his work in the gospel.
We do not fear anything that humans can do to us, because they cannot harm us eternally, Mt 10.28. So we can live confidently in Christ. We can speak about Jesus with courage. Because we know that God protects his own.