TTE Advent Calendar Day Nine – December 9th
Thank you for reading our ninth installment of our advent series, please check out our advent page for more articles in this series.
Today’s article will probably be the shortest in the advent series. In case you have not read the previous articles, we are looking at the prophecies that would show the Messiah is true. We have narrowed it down with each prophecy and each prophecy so far has pointed towards Jesus being the Messiah. Let’s look at today’s verse in the prophetic book of Hosea chapter eleven verse one.
Hosea 11:1 (ESV) When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.
This part of scripture has two applications, one which speaks of a past tense and one that speaks of a future tense. This has caused scoffers and skeptics to try to discount it as a prophecy. I plan to look at both the past and the future tense.
Past tense – Hosea remembers calling the nation of Israel out of Egypt, Moses led them out of Egypt and the documentary evidence can be found in the book of Exodus. We see the children of Israel enter the land (which at that time was called Canaan) in the book of Joshua.
Future tense – Hosea speaks about that God called his own son of Egypt. Herod was on the throne in the land where Jesus was born, when he realized that the wise men from the east were not returning to him he then decided to find the Messiah on his own. Let’s look at Matthew chapter two chapter thirteen.
Matthew 2:13 (ESV) Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” 14 And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt 15 and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt I called my son.”
Joseph dreamed (from the LORD) once the wise men had gone, God spoke to him in an urgent fashion in the same way that you would be spoken to in an emergency. This was life threatening stuff. Herod was only concerned with securing the little kingdom that he had, he had little comprehension that Jesus was a different kind of king.
This young child was not a threat to that throne, but King Herod saw him as a weaker rival and a rival that had to be removed. (Verse 13) So under the cover of darkness they escaped to Egypt and remained there until the King had passed on.
Going to Egypt is preservation by God. He sent them to one of the Roman provinces out with Herod’s control. An area that would have a Jewish migration that was far enough away to escape Herod but close enough that they could return when the time was correct.
The character of Joseph is shown here, his first concern was his family, his wife Mary and the child he held in his arms that whilst he was not actually the father, he was going to ensure the child’s safety from danger.
We often hear the Christmas hymn “Mary did you know?” I wonder if anyone asked Joseph if he knew when he was escaping the clutches of the king’s guard with wife and child.
Matthew ties in the verse from Hosea by quoting it directly to show both meanings and to show that it while it was speaking in the past tense it also had a literal fulfillment in the book of Matthew.
Just in case you were under any doubt of Herods intentions, they are listed below.
16 Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men. 17 Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah: 18 “A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be comforted, because they are no more.”
This was no false alarm, Herod in his own wicked mind thought he was taking all steps necessary to remove teh new king. He was blinded by his own power and trying to keep his own diminished part of the power pie. He was keeping a delicate balance between keeping the Romans happy and also keeping the religious people happy (and there were two different factions there also)
So to say that he was a puppet king in a volatile kingdom is an understatement. He had very little real power as a monarch in a place where the real decisions were taken in Rome, he saw the messiah as a political threat and felt that he had to go.
One of the first questions asked of the wise men was “When did you first see the star” and that’s why he killed the children under 2 years old. You have to remember Joseph was there in the first place because of a census so Herod would have known who and where the children would have been.
We do not know the population of Bethlehem at that time; however the population of 2 year old and under may not have been that large. We do know however that Herod in his last days was suspicious of anyone he deemed as a threat and even had murdered members of his own family.
This verse (18) is a quotation from Jeremiah 31; it had literal application at the time as well as prophetic application in this verse.
What these passages tell me is that yet again Jesus shows himself to be the messiah. My prayer is that you find him as your messiah too. Feel free to contact us if you wish to discuss further.
God bless you one and all, I thank you for reading this article. Please share, comment or like below as the LORD leads you too.