‘And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfil what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt I called my son.”’ (Matthew 2:14-15)
Matthew’s Gospel has only just begun, and already God’s plan of salvation was under threat. Christ had been born, his mission was clear, the Gentiles had come; and when Herod discovered the Wise Men would not return to Jerusalem as Herod had asked, he would be enraged.
This hope of the nations was fragile, a delicate piece of china. One was coming who would want to throw it to the ground and crush it beneath his feet.
But God would not allow this to happen. God had determined mankind’s fall into sin even before he created the world, because he had planned to save mankind through his Son (Eph 1:4). So, God again sent an angel to Joseph, warning him and sending him to Egypt for safety. God’s plans cannot be thwarted (Job 42:2).
It is easy to look around at our society and fall into despair and fear at what is coming. Christianity is no longer seen as good for society, but harmful. Our views on the unique place of Christ as the only way to the Father are seen as disparaging to those of other or no faith. Our views on marriage, sexuality, gender and abortion are called hateful and bigoted. Religious freedoms are under attack.
These verses remind us that the evil one has always been against God and his people, but he is not threatened. Our hope is not in legal protections or stricter border security. Our hope is in the transformative gospel of Christ. We find salvation in him alone.