It is pretty amazing to think, for a moment, how God plans out things in a persons life, especially when it is His Son. God knows and knew the hearts of men. When Herod asks the three kings to come and tell him where he may find Jesus, so he, too, can worship him and bring him gifts, God knows his hearts desire is to kill Jesus, not worship him. He addresses the Three Kings in a dream, tells them of Herods plot, and tells them to return another way.
We know that story. An interesting insight that came to me one Christmas is how practical God is. He knew that when Herod would try to kill his son, he would tell Joseph to take Mary and the child and flee to Egypt. Perhaps the practical God thought that when Joseph, Mary and Jesus fled to Egypt, the gold would provide food, clothing, and other needs. The Frankincense and Myrrh could be traded in the market place until Joseph could again establish himself in the carpenter business.
Do you think Joseph thought for one minute about his new found wealth?
Why would he have to flee? He could use some of the gold to bribe the soldiers and get them to look the other way. After all, his wife had just had a baby; it was cold and surely the trip would endanger the newborn childs health. What if there were robbers along the way? The gold, frankincense, and myrrh would surely be taken from them.
But if Joseph had such thoughts, he quickly dismissed them and trusted that what God had provided, God would safeguard. His trust was in the very person of God, not merely in the things God had provided. This is a lesson for us.
Does wealth solve peoples problems? Satan will tell you it does. Some of the happiest people I know do not have wealth as the world understands it. Some of the unhappiest people in the world have wealth beyond measure.
When my first-born experienced his first Christmas, Grandma and Grandpa on both sides lavished him with gifts. He looked at the presents and when the opening was all over, he entertained himself for hours with the cardboard rolls the wrapping paper had come on. Nothing is more fun to a nine-month-old boy than beating a cardboard roll on the floor and giggling heartily. We might just as well have saved our money and given him the rolls, for all the joy our expensive presents had brought to him.
Were we angry with our son when he chose cardboard rollers over the wonderful gifts we had bought him? No, we were pleased that he was happy, yet we felt that next year he would be more appreciative of the gifts. We looked forward to the time when he could really appreciate what we gave him.
That is what God wants from us: appreciation of the gifts He has given us. What would make God the happiest would be for you to accept the gift He has sent from his generous heart the gift of His Son and give him your heart in return. Trust him to meet your practical needs and show that trust by obedience as Joseph did.
That will be a Merry Christmas.