Google+ 01/04/14 The End Doesn't Justify the Means!

Matthew 2:5-8

 

“In Bethlehem in Judea,” they said, “for this is what the prophet wrote:

‘And you, O Bethlehem in the land of Judah, are not least among the ruling cities of Judah,
For a ruler will come from you who will be the shepherd for my people Israel.’”

Then Herod called for a private meeting with the wise men,

And he learned from them the time when the star first appeared.

Then he told them, “Go to Bethlehem and search carefully for the child.

And when you find him, come back and tell me so that I can go and worship him, too!”

 

In part ten of our twelve-part devotion series entitled, "Christmas and the Manger Live Forever!" Matthew shows us the complete deception of Herod.  When Herod asks the chief priests and the scribes where Jesus would be born, they answered with a reference from Scripture.  They explained the birth would take place in Bethlehem.  They also confirmed to Herod who this Messiah would really be.  He was to be a ruler and shepherd.  Neither of these please Herod in any way.  Herod immediately goes to the wise men and makes them an offer, based on deceit.  He asks them to go and report back to him as to the exact location of the Christ Child.  It is later that the wise men recognize Herod's deceit.  There is much to be learned from today's Scripture.  First, Herod was not aware of Scripture and was forced to rely on others.  While none of us want Herod to kill Jesus, his entire plan is thwarted because of his ignorance.  Had he known the Scripture, within eight days of Jesus's birth, Christ would have been in Jerusalem as required by Jewish law.  Herod would never have had to travel or depend on the wise men.  He could have walked out his front door and killed Jesus.  Secondly, the "wise" men were deceived by Herod.  If they were so "wise," how could that be?  Many of us listen to the wrong voices at the wrong times.  In the case of the wise men, they eventually determined the truth and it was basically, "no harm no foul!"  In our every day lives, that is often not the case.  Deception, and our unwillingness to admit that it exists, often hurts many people before the truth is known.  How can we improve our discernment?  Read the Bible daily!!!  The Word of God will protect us.  Even if we end up in the right place, "The End Doesn't Justify the Means!"