And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.~Jeremiah 29:13 NKJV
Many people celebrate the Christmas season with beautiful decorations, gather with friends and family, and engage in festive songs. Since its creation in 1857, many have heard, hummed, and sung We Three Kings, about the Magi who visited Jesus when He was a young child.
How did these Wise Men or Magi, who came from the East, know to look heavenward for a sign? The first possibility is that God prompted them to search the skies and follow the star. After all, He told them later in a dream to avoid Herod (see Matthew 2:12). My second theory is that the Magi, as astrologers, watched for this astronomical object based on prophecy they had read. Since Daniel, a Jewish captive and Babylon’s chief administrator over the Wise Men of his time prophesied the birth and death of Jesus over four hundred years prior to the event, he likely influenced their knowledge. It is also feasible they read Micah’s prophecy about Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem. Regardless, there is no doubt they were guided by a brilliant light.
The belief that their eyes would look upon the prophetic King, the Messiah, inspired the Magi to set off on this unknown voyage. A one-way camel trip from Babylon to Jerusalem averaged four months (see Ezra 7:9). To leave their homes, friends, and family for almost a year required a tremendous amount of faith. The Bible doesn’t tell us the number of men and escorts who traveled, but to roam into foreign lands and face the potential dangers of wild animals or bandits that may lie in wait took great courage.
I imagine these travelers experienced emotional and spiritual discouragement along the way not knowing how far they would trek, how long it might take, or their exact destination. The men may have argued amongst each other whether they made the right choice, and some may have done some finger-pointing. It wouldn’t surprise me if Satan constantly attacked them with doubt, despair, irritation, and other tactics to thwart their efforts so they would turn around and head home.
Because of God’s omniscience, He knew what they would encounter, and He equipped them to endure, just as He does for you and me today. God doesn’t always remove the obstacles, but He will strengthen us through them.
The Magi’s perseverance paid off. To bask in the presence of the Messiah, relieved their belief didn’t result in a fool’s errand, had to encourage and build their faith. Their journey home was likely a joyous one, as they shared heartfelt insights about King Jesus and the hope of what He would accomplish.
This eight- to nine-month expedition must have impacted all those who braved the trip because they went home having found the greatest treasure on earth–Jesus. Friend, do you allow discouragement or self-doubt to keep you from the path God has paved? Follow His leading because great treasures await at the end of your journey.
Share a time when perseverance paid off for you.
My Heavenly Father, thank You for the hope that You gave the Wise Men, and the hope that You give me today. The Wisemen sacrificed the comforts of their home, family, and friends, all to find Jesus. Let me have the same passion and determination to seek and follow wherever You may lead me, and with this same perseverance and faith to overcome any obstacle.
In Jesus’ name. Amen
Copyright 2021: Follow the Star: Irene Wintermyer: All Rights Reserved