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The Threat of True Worship

Matthew 2:7-8

Then Herod secretly summoned the wise men and asked them the exact time the star appeared.  He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child.  When you find him, report back to me so that I too can go and worship Him.”

The wise men had come to Jerusalem in search of a child born King of the Jews because they saw His star rising in the East, and they recognized its importance. Herod, an appointed king with no legitimate right to the throne, met with them secretly to learn more about what they had seen. If his intentions had been noble, why did it require a secret meeting? Herod feared Jews learning the details of the star and realizing a legitimate king had been born – a promised king, according to the prophets. Herod needed their information, but he wanted to control how it was used. If all of Jerusalem knew what the wise men did, they might all seek to worship this child. He could not have that and maintain his throne.

Herod’s lineage as a Jew was questionable. Many did not feel he had a legal right to the throne, but he brought good economic times to the region. He executed anyone who challenged his authority, including members of his own family. A baby with a rising star in the East, Messianic prophesies foretold, and Gentile Magi seeking to worship Him certainly posed a threat to his authority. He tried to manipulate the wise men into cooperating with him by implying false intentions. He did not desire to find the baby so he could worship.  His true intentions were to kill Him!

The Devil is threatened by true worship. He often assumes illegitimate authority in our lives, and we allow him if we think we benefit from it somehow. Once he has that authority, he will seek to eliminate any threat to it – especially worship for Jesus, the only legitimate receiver of worship. Sure signs that the Devil is at work are secrecy, manipulation, and deceit. If these actions are required to maintain or establish a position, it is not a godly position. Anything from God will direct worship to Christ and will glorify Him.

Dare to be like the wise men, and be intent on worshipping Jesus with your gifts. Don’t compromise with anyone or anything that operates in secrecy, manipulation, or deceit. God made a way for these wise men, and He will make a way for you if your desire is true worship. To bow in the presence of the legitimate king is far greater than to stand with a wicked ruler. Choose to bow and be blessed! 

Have a blessed day!

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