Resting in a vicious world (Matthew 1-2)

20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. Matthew 1:20

Thanks be unto God for His wisdom, love, and sovereign authority over every affair of this life and the life to come.  Brothers and sisters, I believe with all my heart that nothing happens apart from God’s control.

Psalm 49:5 “Why should I fear in times of trouble?”

Psalm 46:5 “God is in our midst, we shall not be moved, God will help us when morning dawns.”

Now I know there are those who say, if all of this is true, then why does God allow the world to be so vicious?  One must remember God did not create this world as a vicious place (Gen. 1:31).  You and I have a hand in what Adam and Eve started by continuing their pattern of rebellion against God.  The reason the world is in the mess it is in is simply because you and I have been given leadership over our own affairs (Rom. 1:24-25).  We have proven our inability to lead. We must own our mess!!!

Now I know there are those who are shaking their fist at God with a blaming heart.  There are many who ask, why did God not do something or why does God not do something about our world?

Friend, He did something about our world:

  • For 42 generations God called people to turn back to Him, but they would not, Matt. 1:1-17.
  • Jesus came as God’s answer for our mess, Matt. 1:18-21.

23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
    and they shall call his name Immanuel”

  • Jesus felt the full weight of this vicious world.

Even as the Magi (2:1-7) came to worship Jesus, King Herod was planning Jesus demise.  God intervened in Jesus life (2:13-15) and Joseph carried Jesus away from King Herod’s plan even as untold numbers of babies were murdered by King Herod (2:16-18).  Through it all God kept the hope of the world alive and on point for His mission, (Jer. 31:5).

Evil cannot win against God!!!

  • Jesus did not flee from this vicious world.  He was raised in the city of Nazareth.

Jesus life was so that He could identify with us (Heb. 4:12-16).  Jesus modeled how we are to live our lives and He taught us how to live in the power of the Holy Spirit. Every part of Jesus life cries out, there is victory in His name in the midst of this vicious world.

  • Jesus died, was buried, and rose again after three days.

I still say, God is wise, loving, and sovereign over the affairs of this life.  I offer you the following Scriptures to consider as you search for a resting place in this vicious world.

Lord, how many are my foes!
    Many are rising against me;
many are saying of my soul,
    “There is no salvation for him in God.” Selah[a]

But you, O Lord, are a shield about me,
    my glory, and the lifter of my head.
I cried aloud to the Lord,
    and he answered me from his holy hill. Selah

I lay down and slept;
    I woke again, for the Lord sustained me.
I will not be afraid of many thousands of people
    who have set themselves against me all around.

Arise, O Lord!
    Save me, O my God!
For you strike all my enemies on the cheek;
    you break the teeth of the wicked.

Salvation belongs to the Lord;
    your blessing be on your people, Psalm 3.

Romans 8:28-38

28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,[h] for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

God’s Everlasting Love

31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be[i] against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.[j] 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written,

“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
    we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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