Heaven Protected Families
23 years ago, I preached a series of four messages in my church called “What Jesus Wants For Christmas.” One of those messages, out of Matthew 2:13-23, dealt with God’s desire to protect and preserve our families.
You can’t think of Christmas without thinking of family. So many of our Christmas memories center around traditional family meals, treasured gifts we received and the joy and blessing of watching our children and grandkids experience the joy of the season.
But everything wasn’t so happy with the first family to celebrate Christmas. You see, there’s a bad guy in the original Christmas story and his name was Herod. He wanted to destroy the Christ child and, if necessary, his family too.
Herod thought nothing of killing those he considered a threat to his authority. He murdered his wife, mother in law, three sons and 300 court officers who he feared would seek his demise. He even had a bunch of young boys two and under butchered because he heard One of them might potentially be a future King of the Jews.
The enemy wants your family to be captive to hopelessness and robbed of its future. Matthew 2:18 is a quotation from Jeremiah 31:15 about “Rachel weeping for her children” in Ramah. This was one of the places Jews were taken on their way to their captivity in Babylon. But remember, God had a plan to restore his family. He promised a “plan to give them a hope and a future” (Jer.29:11).
God still makes a way to protect our families from the “Herodian” influences of the world. It starts with us listening to God like Joseph did (Matthew 2;13,19,22). We must be ready, like Joseph, to wait on God “until the death of Herod” ( vs.15). We must make sure that the influence of the enemy is thoroughly vanquished. It is also necessary to remember that the threats may be renewed in the future, just as Herod’s son Archelaus followed him. Constant diligence is demanded to protect our families.
God’s ultimate goal for our families is the same as He had for the first Christmas family. He wants to lead us to a place of growth and the realization of the potential He has placed in us. For Jesus, that was a tiny, backwater village called Nazareth. Yet it lay just east of the Mediterranean Sea where ships could traverse the globe and just west of the major road leading to Egypt to the south and the Orient to the east. You could go almost anywhere from Nazareth.
This Christmas embrace the fact that God wants to bring your family to a place of limitless potential. The enemy may put up a fight, but heaven still has a plan to protect your family and fulfill His destiny through you and those you love.