When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and His mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill Him. So, he got up, took the child and His mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my Son.” When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and in its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled: “A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great morning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.”
Throughout the Christmas narrative, we see a series of simple instructions being given to Joseph and Mary. For their part, they just needed to follow these simple instructions to ensure Jesus’ safety and wellbeing. In a dream, Joseph was instructed to take Jesus and Mary into Egypt. Herod did not like the fact that the Magi failed to report back to him as to Jesus’ location. In his anger and fear, Herod ordered the mass genocide of Jewish boys two-years old and younger. This shows what lengths the forces of evil would go to in order to snuff out God’s promised Messiah.
Thankfully, Joseph and Mary were obedient to follow the simple instructions given to them by the Lord. Their simple obedience is an example to the rest of us who seek to find ourselves in the center of God’s will. Sometimes we complicate knowing and doing God’s will. In his book entitled Experiencing God, Henry Blackaby writes, “When God invites us to join Him in what He is doing, it often leads to a crisis of belief that requires faith and action.” Joseph and Mary found themselves in a crisis of belief. Yet, they just kept being obedient to what God was asking them to do. Their simple obedience is an example to the rest of us who walk by faith.
What is God asking of you this Christmas season? Is He calling you to share the Good News of Jesus with family, friends, and coworkers? Is God asking you to give sacrificially? Maybe God is calling you to convey the true meaning of Christmas to a total stranger. Whatever God is asking you to do, will you respond like Joseph and Mary with simple obedience? This Christmas season let’s remember to keep it simple!
Questions to Ponder
Even though God’s instructions to Mary and Joseph were simple, how might they have struggled to be obedient? Are you currently struggling to be obedient in your walk with God? What does a crisis of belief look like for you? How are you going to keep it simple this Christmas?
Spend some time in prayer meditating on what God revealed to you today.