The older I become, the more I find myself playing the What if Game. What if this happened instead of that? If this went my way or if I waited a little longer, would the outcome have changed? While I was pondering several possibilities, a thought popped into my mind. What if King Herod got his wish, finding the Messiah; then killing Jesus to remain in power?
Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 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 2:7-8.
While churches across the country and throughout the world will sing about a Silent Night, this great event could have been marred by tragedy. The Magi could have sought to please King Herod, returning to his palace, directing him to the exact location of this child. Yet, divine intervention persuaded these wise men to do what was right, taking an alternate route back home. Meanwhile, the Lord spoke to Joseph in a vivid dream, prompting an immediate departure for Egypt, to escape Herod’s sword. If not for these actions, the Messiah would be no more.
And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route. When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.” So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son,” Matthew 2:13-15.
If Herod got his wish, the world would be doomed. Sure, depending upon where you live, there are some safe places that exist. Yet, without the completion of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection, there would be no hope. The last 2000 years would have been like The Game of Thrones with one person after another doing whatever it takes to reach the throne. Thankfully, this what if scenario was stopped in it’s tracks by the power of the Holy Spirit. If God has the power to intervene like this past historical event, imagine what the Lord can do today within hearts and souls eager to serve God. I’m not sure what will happen next, but I’m excited about the possibilities.
by Jay Mankus