“He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him” (Matthew 2:8)
It’s crazy how you can read the same verse over, and over, and over and then one day it just hits you differently. That’s exactly what happened to me when I read Matthew 2:8.
Here’s the backstory: Jesus was born in Bethlehem. King Herod king of Jerusalem. Bethlehem and Jerusalem are about 5 or 6 miles a part. A king being born this close to King Herod’s kingdom was definitely a threat to his throne. He decides to come up with a plan to kill the newborn baby before he can do any damage.
So what does he do? Manipulation at it’s finest. He calls for the Magi (wise men) who are also searching for baby Jesus. The wise men wanted to worship Jesus and King Herod made them think that was his desire as well. However, worship was the furthest thing from his heart. King Herod wanted him dead.
As I was reading this I thought, “Hmm, we need to beware of those who seek us”. Not everyone who surrounds you is for you. Not everyone who wishes you well means it. Not everyone who checks on you is really happy when they hear you say “I’m wonderful”. Some people come into our lives to destroy it; and sometimes we don’t realize it until the damage is done. This was something I had to learn the hard way. Naturally, I tend to see the good in everyone. Even if you’re running towards me with a knife I will still find a way to explain why you didn’t really intend to stab me. Eventually, I had to wake up from the utopia I tried to live in.
Now, I’m not saying that you should live your life paranoid because you can’t tell which sheep is real and which one is just a wolf in disguise. But you do need to exercise wisdom and discernment in all things. Don’t just share your business plan with everyone. You may end up sharing it with the very person who will steal it. You don’t always have to tell the whole world your dreams. That same friend who “believes” in you is the same one who is blocking your open doors.
The wise men had no reason to believe that ill intentions were attached to Herod’s request; so God warned them through a dream not to return to Herod. Imagine if the wise men ignored the dream!! In the same way, God will warn you through dreams, visions, etc if he sees you walking in danger.
Be vigilant. Not ignorant. Be careful of those who seek you.