Divine Intervention Necessary
Text: Matthew 2:1-23
The Wise Men had come to the end of their long search! They were right in deciphering that the Star they had seen in the East heralded the birth of the “King of the Jews”. Happy in heart, they must have made preparation to return to Jerusalem to inform King Herod of the success of their search.
It would have been disastrous if the Wise Men had returned to Jerusalem to inform wicked King Herod of the whereabouts of Jesus. Divine intervention was necessary to prevent a further mistake.
“Then, being divinely warned in a dream
that they should not return to Herod, they
departed for their own country another way.”
It would take far too long, for the Wise Men to discover Herod for who he really was. Through a dream, the Wise Men received a divine warning! They were to return home, but via another route. They were not to attempt to see Herod at all, for he meant to harm Jesus!
THE DIVINE USE OF DREAMS
Dreams were used by God in times past to convey vital messages! The Wise Men were not the only ones who received dreams. An angel spoke to Joseph in a dream (Matthew 1:20). It was through another dream that Joseph was warned to flee to Egypt.
“Now when they had departed, behold,
an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph
in a dream, saying, ‘Arise, take the young
Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay
there until I bring you word; for Herod will
seek the young Child to destroy Him.”
It was the prerogative of God to choose the means to communicate His message. Let us consider an important text in the Book of Numbers that discusses the Divine means of communication in the past.
“Then He (God) said,
‘Hear now My words:
If there is a prophet among you,
I, the Lord, make Myself known to
him in a vision;
I speak to him in a dream.'”
God described two ways in which He could communicate His word. He could use “a vision”. He could also use “a dream”.
He then went on to describe a third way in which He could choose to communicate.
“Not so with My servant Moses;
He is faithful in all My house.
I speak with him face to face,
Even plainly, and not in dark sayings;
And he sees the form of the Lord…”
It is always God’s Divine prerogative to choose the means by which He communicates with His servants!
REASONS WHY GOD USED DREAMS TO COMMUNICATE
Why did God use dreams to communicate His word? Let us consider the following reasons:-
God singled out Moses as one with whom He spoke face to face. This was the way He honoured Moses! No one has the right to demand that God must choose this means to communicate with him! Face-to-face communication was a very rare privilege! Few were accorded this privilege!
2. Dreams and Visions
This was the “normal” way God communicated His word in the ancient past. No one would deny the fact that dreams and visions were the “standard way” in which God communicated His word. Several reasons may be suggested as to why this was the case:
a) Dreams act as “supplementary messages” to the Scriptures.
b) This was the “common” but nonetheless a “divine” means of communication.
c) Dreams, when fully understood, were seen as a direct word from God! They were Divine directives that the recipient must obey!
d) There was a powerful sense of authority behind dreams that demanded full compliance from the recipient.
e) Dreams from God would override human reasoning!
It is difficult for us to imagine what it means to have “a dream” from God! The Wise Men received a dream from God, and they complied completely. They returned to their own country without seeing Herod again.
God warned Joseph in a dream that he must take Mary and Jesus to Egypt to escape the wrath of Herod! Dreams were a valid and common means of communication in the past! However, when Jesus came into the world, God changed His usual way of speaking to His people. Jesus Himself was The Word of God Incarnate!