Ever look at something that happened in your life and say, “Really, God? Why???” If only this…..then that? You go over and over things in your mind. Sometimes you can’t get to a logical solution no matter how many different ways you replay it in your head. And you are just stuck with the question – WHY??? I look at the story of the wise men the same way…
Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.” After this interview the wise men went their way. And the star they had seen in the east guided them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were filled with joy! They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Herod was furious when he realized that the wise men had outwitted him. He sent soldiers to kill all the boys in and around Bethlehem who were two years old and under, based on the wise men’s report of the star’s first appearance. (excerpts Matthew 2)
Ever look at something that happened in your life and say, “Really, God? Why???” If only this…..then that? You go over and over things in your mind. Sometimes you can’t get to a logical solution no matter how many different ways you replay it in your head. And you are just stuck with the question – WHY???
I look at the story of the wise men the same way. Who were they and why did they come? They weren’t Jews. They could have been from the way of Babylon where years earlier Daniel had been made chief of the wise men after he interpreted Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. Not all Israelites returned to the Promised Land after the exile was over. Some stayed in Babylon. Maybe they heard the prophecies of Messiah from them. Maybe there were scrolls of the prophecies left behind and they studied them.
No one knows for sure why they came except they saw a star and were compelled to follow it to worship Jesus. And it’s a sweet story, right? They come to His house and bow down to Him in honor and bestow precious gifts on Him signifying who He was and what He would do. It should have been just another sweet story signifying and confirming Jesus is Messiah.
Except that wasn’t the end of the story. Their visit stirred up such fear and anger in Herod that he determined to have the all baby boys under the age of 2 years old killed, bringing about a time of weeping and wailing and mourning not known in Israel since the time of Moses.
And that is the part of this story that I look at and say, “Really, God? Why???” (I bet all those mamas were wondering the same thing!) Why??? Why did they have to come. Why did something so wonderful and honoring of Jesus unleash such death and mourning? If only they had stayed away. If only they hadn’t talked to Herod, he would never have known. If only….why….questions….
Even in the midst of amazing miracles, and Jesus is an amazing miracle from start to finish, there are things that happen in life that we don’t understand…that we will never understand…no matter how many different ways we look at it.
We are going to face things in life that try to shake our faith and cause us to run away from God. Things that try to shake our trust…that try to make us question, “Where were You? Why???” These are things I can’t answer. I have walked through some pretty horrific things….but THROUGH is the key word here.
We may not understand all the WHY’S….but we can hold on to the One that knows the end from the beginning, draw on His grace and strength and comfort, and allow Him to lead us through those things to healing. Don’t let it shake your trust in who He is and what He will do for you in the future. He is still here…still with you. He has never left. Run to Him….He will bring you through!
But now, this is what the Lord says—
he who created you, Jacob,
he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze. (Isaiah 43:1-2)