December 20

“So he called a meeting of the Jewish ruling priests and religious scholars, demanding that they tell him where the promised Messiah was prophesied to be born. “He will be born in Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,” they told him.” – Matthew 2:4‭-‬5

This scripture always makes me feel sad and is such a warning. When the wise men from the east came to find Jesus, they stopped at the Kings court to inquire (a natural assumption, when looking for a new king.) When King Herod heard they were looking for a new ruler, he called the religious scholars and priests to find out more… and those religious people knew the prophecy, knew where the Messiah would be born.

This amazes me… how did they miss it? How did the religious people miss out on what was written, what was declared and prophesied? How could they read those words, see those wisemen searching, and still not realize what was happening?

But then I must turn those questions inward… how many times have I read the word of the Lord and yet not believed or not taken it seriously? How many times have I refused to accept what God is doing because it doesn’t look like what I expected? Perhaps those religious scholars thought that Messiah would be born into a royal family or at least a priestly family. Perhaps they thought that God would not speak to or be leading these Gentile wise men and they couldn’t possibly have revelation that the priests didn’t have.

Or perhaps they had just grown weary in the waiting. The coming Messiah had been prophecied a loooong time ago, and maybe their initial expectation and excitement had dulled down to complacent familiarity with the Promise. Perhaps they stopped expecting. Stopped hoping. Stopped looking. All I know for sure is that these religious folks missed out on such a momentous and long awaited miracle.

May we learn from them… may we read the words and promises in the Scripture and take them seriously. May we not subject the Word to our own expectations and then miss out on what God is doing because we think it should look differently. May we not miss what God is doing because we expect Him to bring it to pass in a different way, in a different place, at a different time. May we never grow calloused and familiar to His promises or so wearied by the waiting that when it does come to pass, we are caught unaware.

Prayer: Lord, in my own life, I have sometimes grown so tired of waiting for the Word to come to pass that I have let myself grow complavent and lost expectation. Or I have assumed that I know how, when and where You will work. Today, I pray for renewed faith and holy expectation, for Your word WILL NOT return void and though it tarry, I will keep waiting with my eyes open wide in total assurance that Your how and Your when and Your where are perfect!

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