Now when they had gone, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, "Get up! Take the Child and His mother and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is going to search for the Child to destroy Him." - Matthew 2:13 NASB
Isn’t it remarkable that Jesus—God incarnate—Creator of all things, stooped so low as to put himself into the hands of a carpenter and his bride-to-be? Jesus was a flesh and blood toddler and vulnerable to any of the dangers we might face. So His Father sent a royal guard to watch over Him. His angelic watchers would get a heads up from heaven that there was trouble brewing, and give the intel to Joseph. He would then pack up hearth and home and head out-of-town.
What follows Jesus’ exodus to Egypt was one of the most gruesome acts of terrorism in the history of humanity, Herod’s boy-hunt. It’s horrific.
Then when Herod saw that he had been tricked by the magi, he became very enraged, and sent and slew all the male children who were in Bethlehem and all its vicinity, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the magi. Then what had been spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled:
"A VOICE WAS HEARD IN RAMAH, WEEPING AND GREAT MOURNING, RACHEL WEEPING FOR HER CHILDREN; AND SHE REFUSED TO BE COMFORTED, BECAUSE THEY WERE NO MORE.” - Matthew 2:16-18
History is full of men who killed and slaughtered innocents for their own gain. But this story makes me so sad. While these magi—these wisemen—walk away from their lives, and follow a star to honor this king, Herod, who had been raised as a Jew, was willing to kill his own nation's future to preserve his own power base. It would be decades before a child king would be any threat to him or to his throne. Still he slaughtered all the male children in this suburb of Jerusalem.
But when it was all over, Jesus’ secret service got the ‘all clear’ from headquarters, and passed the word to Joseph.
But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, and said, "Get up, take the Child and His mother, and go into the land of Israel; for those who sought the Child's life are dead." - Matthew 2:19-20
Keep the light on.