Early Christmas Presence - Day 6
Early Christmas Presence
Early Christmas Presence- King Herod, an Edomite, represents “the flesh,” and his response to the Presence of Jesus was anger, hatred, violence and death.
Matthew 2 (NIV) – After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him. “When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written: “‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah, for out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’” Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.” After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.
We read that King Herod is “disturbed” when the Magi ask him, “Where is the one that has been born king of the Jews?” We might assume that this is just a general jealousy of a rival king but look further and you will see that the root is much deeper.
This tension is rooted in lineage that goes back to Abraham’s sons, Isaac and Ishmael. And then moves more specifically to Isaac’s sons, Jacob and Esau.
(Biblical context: Abraham was the man God
picked to establish covenant with and ultimately to have the
Savior born from His bloodline. Abraham is the father of the Jewish Nation).
King Herod, was “Herod the Great.” Though nominally Jewish, an Edomite. We need to understand what this means to understand the “heart” of his reaction.
In Genesis 35, God told Isaac’s wife Rebekah that the sons in her womb would become two rival nations. Esau who represents the flesh is called “Edom.” He was willing to sell his birthright for stew. Driven by momentary gain—compromising for a moment of impulse instead of believe for a lifetime of blessing. And this represents the flesh in all of us. He married Ishmael’s daughter.
Genesis 28:6-9. Isaac’s other son Jacob is the son of promise and represents the Spirit. The Bible records the accounts of the hostility that the Edomites had against the Jews throughout the Old Testament.
Today we see the conflict between the lineage. Spiritually, we see the hatred that Satan has for the children of promise, the children of God—that hatred is a work of the flesh.
Through Herod, Satan had all boys under the age of 2 murdered to make sure that the King above all Kings was no more—a genocide to coincide the arrival Jesus (Matthew 2:13-18). Sowing to the flesh reaps death —we know this from scripture. King Herod paints a picture of a very literal and violent reality of that.
John 3 says, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh,
and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Galatians 5:17 says, “For the desires of the flesh are against
the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are
against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other…”
King Herod, an Edomite, represents “the flesh,” and his response to the Presence of Jesus was anger, hatred, jealousy, violence and murder.
What does it look like in your life to battle between flesh and Spirit?
Has there ever been a time where you’ve been resistant to the work and Presence of Jesus in your life?