Matthew 2:7 – Herod secretly called the magi and determined from them the exact time the star appeared.
The magi came first to Jerusalem in their pursuit of finding the newborn King of the Jews. Sometime had transpired since the birth of Christ; remember they had travelled from Persia, east of Israel. The first thing they did was to seek out the present king. Herod was only a pawn of Rome and had no real authority. They inquired of Herod the whereabouts of the newborn King because they saw His star. I am reminded of what the Scriptures say, “The heavens are telling the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands” (Psalm 19:1).
God’s first Bible was in the heavens. Consider the story of the gospel told through the constellations. The constellation of “Leo the Lion” speaks of the “Lion of the tribe of Judah.” The constellation of “Virgo” speaks of the “virgin birth.” The constellation in the southern hemisphere known as the “southern cross” reveals the method of redemption. Adam and Abraham could see God’s story in the heavenly skies. The world and false religion distorted the meaning of God’s story in the heavens. The magi knew the stars from a distorted perspective, but God opened their minds to understand that “this star is different and speaks of the long awaited King of the Jews.”
Herod’s evil heart is revealed as the magi’s request and statement disturbed Him and he called together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, inquiring of them where the Messiah was to be born. These men told Herod that it was Bethlehem, reciting the prophet, “You, Bethlehem, land of Judah, are by no means least among the leaders of Judah; for out of you shall come forth a ruler who will shepherd My people Israel” (Micah 5:2). Herod then used the magi as his instrument to locate Jesus. As they left Herod, the star they saw in the east, went on before them until it came and stood over the place where the child was. This was not an ordinary star. They saw it in the “east” while Israel was to their west. In other words, the star led them all the way to Bethlehem and the house where the holy family lived.
When the magi found Jesus with His mother, they worshipped Him. They then presented gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh (Matthew 2:11). The Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up! Take the child and His mother and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is going to search for the child to destroy Him” (Matthew 2:12). Herod’s secret plan was not secret to the God of heaven. Again, the Lord was fulfilling His prophetic word: “Out of Egypt, I called My Son” (Hosea 11:1). It appears the gifts from the magi were used over the next couple of years to provide financially for the chosen family. The magi returned home without going back to Herod with their findings
Father, I thank You for Your great power revealed in the heavens through the star that led the magi. I thank You for Your awesome provisions for the holy family. I thank You for the protection You provided them until the evil of Herod’s heart was ended. I know Your Holy Spirit was mightily at work and continues to work with and through Your people today.