The Star and the Scepter.
The wise men from the East saw a special star in the sky and knew, base on their knowledge, it indicated that a King was born. These wise men from the East were not prophets of God. They were star gazers or astrologers. This was their occupation and so they immediately recognized the importance of this special star.
This star signified the birth of a king from the Jewish nation. Hence, the men traveled all the way to Judea to the palace of Herod, who was the king of the Jews. Most naturally the birth of a new king would be inside a Palace.
As soon as they arrived in the country of Judah, they went straight to Herod to seek permission to see his son. But Herod did not have a baby son, and he became deeply troubled.
A new born King meant that he would eventually lose his throne. So Herod gathered all the scribes and chief priests, prophets and anyone who had knowledge of the old prophecies to find the written record of the birth of this Jewish king. They searched the scriptures and found this particular verse:
‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are not the least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you shall come a Ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’”(Matthew 2:6)
The evidence pointed to the birth of a Ruler in Bethlehem of Judah. Herod decided to meet secretly with the wise men to find out the exact time that they saw the star. The wise men gave him the information and Herod gave them explicit instructions to return to him as soon as they found the child. He told them that he would also like to pay homage to the new king.
Two things you need to note here. From the time that the wise men saw the first appearance of the star until the time when they spoke with Herod was probably several months because Herod referred to the new king as the ‘young child.’
Also when the wise men found the place where the baby was born the Bible referred to him as the ‘young child,’ not as a baby. The next point that I want you to note is the first evidence of deception. Herod had no intention of worshiping the child. Instead, he intended to kill him.
The Lord knew the intention of Herod’s heart so He visited the wise men in a dream and warned them that they should not return to Herod but to go home by another route. They obeyed the Lord.
The angel of the Lord also appeared to Joseph and told him to escape to Egypt with his family because King Herod wanted to kill the child. He obeyed, and the child was saved.
Herod waited for the wise men in vain, and when it became apparent that they were not returning to him, he became exceedingly angry. He claimed that he was deceived, but God only outsmarted him. Herod was the deceiver. He was operating under the direct command of the greatest deceiver of all times – Satan.
The devil then sent him on a horrific mission of death and destruction because Herod ordered his soldiers to kill every child in Judah two years and less.
Imagine the commotion and the confusion in Judah! Imagine the pain; the sorrow; the wailing; the tears; the lamentation! The prophet Jeremiah prophesied about this dreadful occasion when he said,
“A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.”(Matthew 2:18)
This was a very terrifying and troubling time in Judah. It was a time of great mourning that could not be comforted. The devil had vengefully released in abundance his evil spirits of deception, confusion, death, sorrow and distress.
The birth of Christ in Judea was not a joyful occasion. It was not a time of singing and celebration. It was a time of grief and sadness for many years.
The devil knew that the birth of this child would mean his ultimate demise because God prophesied it from the beginning of creation. So he did everything in his power to destroy Christ. His plans failed, but many children died instead. The incident is horrific, but it is one that we should not ignore.
Many children sacrificed their lives for the life of Jesus Christ. The lives of these children are important and I am sure that they have a special place under the altar of God. As a matter of fact, they were the first set of people who were martyred for Christ. They gave their life to Christ, who in turn gave his life for the sins of the entire world.
Therefore, during this particular time of the year let us not lose sight of the grave events that took place during the birth of Christ. Let us not waste precious time focusing only on food and material things.
It is a time to be sober and watchful. It is a time to be wise and not foolish. We need to take back possession of time and recognize that the devil is still releasing these spirits during the Christmas season because his intention is to steal kill and destroy as many people as possible.
So I implore you to be aware that the enemy is patrolling seeking to devour you. You can overcome him by the blood of the Lamb when you exercise the following simple rules.
Overcoming the enemy
Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing. (1 Thessalonians 5:6-11)
Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”(1 Peter 1:13-16)
Additional References: Matthew 2