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Daily reading: 26th May 2016

Matthew 2.22

22 Then, having heard that Archelaus was reigning instead of Herod, his father, he was afraid to go there, but having been warned by God in a dream, he went into the area of Galilee.

Archelaos = “prince of the people”

Galilee = “Circuit”

Archelaos succeeded  his father, Herod as ruler in Judea. This was done by the final will of Herod, who in a previous will had left his kingdom to Antipas, his brother.

His rule began in BC 4 and lasted until the emperor Augustus banished him to Vienna (Gaul – France) in AD 6. His reign was marked by cruelty; he put down a revolt by the Pharisees and slaughtered nearly 3,000 of them. Naturally he was opposed by his brother Antipas and feared by the Jews.

In this setting it is not surprising that Joseph was agitated about returning to Judea. God was not unaware of these fears and He warns Joseph about Archelaos, which prompts him to take Mary and Jesus to Galilee.

Our Father is very aware of the situations that we face; the dangers we are likely to encounter; and the fears that various circumstances may promote within out spirit.

The writer to the Hebrews gives us God’s reassurance that He understands completely our circumstances and situations, and the reassurance of the help and assistance of Jesus.

[15] This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for He faced all of the same temptations we do, yet He did not sin.

[16] So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive His mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it – Hebrews. 4:15 (NLT).

In the Old Testament we read about Nehemiah who was afraid to talk to the king about the situation back home in Jerusalem, so he quickly prayed and found the strength to speak to the king about the situation. (Nehemiah 2).

We can be assured that whatever we face, our God does provide the grace and strength for us to encounter whatever is before us.

 

 

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