Before the king’s decree, Joseph received a warning.
Have you ever wondered if God is really watching out for you? Joseph, the man that God chose to raise His Son here on earth, experienced in a dramatic way the providential guidance of God. Let’s try to imagine how he felt when an angel came and told him to take Mary and Baby Jesus to Egypt.
I rubbed the sleep out of my eyes. A glow still lingered in the room where Mary and little Jesus were sleeping. The image of an angel standing by me was clear in my mind. The words of his message burned themselves into my memory. There was no time to lose! Hastily I lit the oil lamp and shook Mary from her sleep.
“Mary!” I whispered urgently. “An angel came again with a message from God. We have to leave this place right away. King Herod is going to try to kill Jesus.”
Startled, she sat upright. “Joseph, where can we go?” Her eyes were wide with dismay.
“The angel said to go to Egypt,” I replied. “We are to stay there until the angel brings us word that it is safe to return.”
Mary didn’t hesitate another moment. Quickly she began gathering together our few belongings. I went over to the shelf where the gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh had been placed. They had been given by those dignified teachers from the East. A feeling of awe came over me. We would need money for our journey and stay in Egypt. How wonderfully God had provided—even before we knew there would be a need!
I wrapped the gifts carefully and placed them in the bottom of a bag.
Walking to the doorway, I gazed out into the still night. The streets were quiet. No one would see us leave. What would the journey hold for us? I wasn’t afraid. God had been so near to us since the night the angel first appeared to me and told me that little Jesus would be a very special Child. As I stood there, thinking back to that night, Mary came to my side with our sleeping Boy held securely in her arms. We were ready to go.
Time passed by quickly after we reached Egypt. But how well I remember that journey. What an awesome responsibility I felt as I led Mary and Jesus away from the little town of Bethlehem. Yet God’s protecting Hand was over us. The soldiers never stopped or questioned us, and we arrived safely in Egypt. How wonderfully God has taken care of our needs. We have wanted for nothing in all of this time.
Now we are traveling once more. The angel came again, just as he said he would, and he brought word that King Herod was dead. Our precious Son is safe from his wrath. I know that God would never direct us back to our homeland if it were not in His plan for us. We can go home at last. How happy our hearts are on this day!
As I look at little Jesus, trudging along here beside me, my heart is full. How good God has been. With the responsibility of raising this Child, how glad I am for the assurance that His heavenly Father is watching out for all of us!
Just as Joseph felt God’s care and concern for Mary, Jesus, and himself, we can feel God’s love surrounding us. The love of our heavenly Father is even greater than that of our earthly parents. His guidance and protection are promised to us even when we don’t know danger is near.
There may be times when we experience the protection of God without knowing it is needed. We have a promise in God’s Word that He will command His angels to protect us. Wherever we are, whatever we’re doing—riding a scooter down the sidewalk, flying across the country to visit grandparents, or just climbing a tree in the back yard—God will be with us.