Summary of passages: Psalm 91: He who dwells with God, rests with God. He is my refuge and my fortress. He will save you from death. He will shelter you. His faithfulness will be your shield. You will not fear. A thousand may die beside you but you will be spared as you will see the punishment of the wicked.
If God is your dwelling and refuge, no harm will befall you. His angels will guard you in all ways. You will trample evil. All because you love God and acknowledge Him. God will answer you and be with you in times of trouble.
After Jesus was born in Bethlehem, the Magi (or Three Wise Men) came to Jerusalem to inquire where the king of the Jews was born at so they may worship him. King Herod was disturbed by this news. He asked all the chief priest’s where the Messiah was to be born and they responded with the words of the prophet Micah: In Bethlehem in Judah.
Herod called the Magi to him secretly and asked them for the exact time of the appearance of the star. He then sent them to Bethlehem to search for the child and then to report back to him so that he too may go and worship the child.
The wise men leave Herod and continue their journey in search of Christ, using the star as their guide. They arrived at Jesus’s house and bowed down and worshipped him. They gave the child gifts of gold, incense, and myrrh. Then they returned home a different way to avoid Herod.
An angel of the Lord warns Joseph to flee Bethlehem for Egypt because Herod is going to try to kill the child. So Mary, Joseph, and Jesus stayed in Egypt until Herod died, returning to fulfill another prophecy in Hosea 11:1.
When Herod realizes the magi have escaped him, he orders all boys in Bethlehem under the age of two killed, fulfilling Jeremiah’s prophecy in Jeremiah 31:15.
Once Herod died, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and told him to return to Israel with Mary and Jesus. Joseph obeyed but settled in a town called Nazareth in Galilee out of fear of Archelaus who was reigning in Judea. This fulfilled what the prophets said that Jesus would be a Nazarene.
10a) God was faithful to all in Matthew 2 because they loved God and acknowledged God and obeyed Him. The Magi were protected from Herod because of God. Joseph and his family was saved from evil because of God.
b) Those who accept God, love God, and acknowledge God. Verse 1: “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High” Verse 9: “If you make the Most High your dwelling” Verse 14: “Because he loves me”, meaning those who love God. and “he acknowledges my name”. Verse 15: “He will call upon me”.
c) Personal Question. My answer: All ways (at least I hope and pray I do). I trust God to lead me to what He wants me to do with my life. I pray for my husband’s job to provide for us. I pray for guidance in all things from leading me to the right dog to the right home–the big and the small (well, not so small in the case of my dog) things all require God’s guidance.
11a) Personal Question. My answer: Those who obey God when called (the Magi, Joseph, Mary) are rewarded and protected (the Magi from Herod and Joseph from Herod) and provided for and guided to where they need to be (Joseph to Nazareth).
b) Personal Question. My answer: Many throughout childhood as He has led me all over the world into some pretty dodgy circumstances. I feel primarily my role has been in the home (remember I said I led a sheltered life on Day 3) and He has protected me in that sense through obedience to Him. And as I now feel I am called elsewhere, out in the world, I feel He will protect me as I continue to shine His light wherever I go.
Conclusions: Great day of review of the lesson through one of the most powerful Psalms. If you love God and accept Him, then no harm will befall you. Plain and simple.
As I was typing this, one of my cats jumped onto my lap. Just like God cares for us, we care for His creatures (recall the study of Genesis)–even the unwanted ones like my cat who was a rescue. Pets never question where their next meal will come from, where they will move next or if they will be loved the next day. They have faith they will have a home, have food, and have you to take care of them. And they love you unconditionally for it. Similarly, so we must have the same simple faith in God and His ability and desire to care for us in all of our needs. If we love Him unconditionally.