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Weekly Bible Study
“Matthew 2:13-23 PT. 1”
by Art Sadlier   
May 2nd, 2010

The Flight  into Egypt

Introduction  --  Chronology of events

1- Joseph and Mary come down from Nazareth.

2- The baby was born in a cattle shed.

3- The shepherds came that same night and worshipped Christ.

4- Probably the next day they moved into a house in which they lived temporarily.

5- forty days later Mary and Joseph and the baby went up to the Temple for Mary's sacrifice of purification.

6- Probably not long after that the Wise Men came and found the baby Jesus in the house at Bethlehem.

7- Immediatly after that the flight into Egypt took place.

8- It seems that they were not in Egypt very long until Herod died.

9- They then returned to Nazareth.


Verse 13 "And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him."

The reason for the flight is given, "Herod will seek the young child to destroy him."  What a confrontation!!! God brings His Son into the world and Herod seeks to destroy him! Behind Herod is Satan! In the child is Jehovah God! What a conflict!

God is moving in Christ to save the world---Satan is moving in Herod to prevent God's purpose! That is the conflict of the ages! We see it from the beginning of scripture to the very end! Satan seldom confronts God directly, most often it is an indirect confrontation. He always attacks that which belongs to God, that which is intended to glorify God, man. Satan hates man because man is made in the image of God and was created to glorify God.

We see this purpose of Satan to attack the purposes of God revealed in....

1- Cain killing Abel.... Satan thought Abel was the line through whom the promised  seed would come, though it was Seth.

2- Corruption of the pre-flood world.

3- Corrupting Abraham with the wrong seed....Hagar and Ishmael.

4- Corruption the sons of Jacob....By intermarriage with the pagans in Palestine. God moves to preserve them in apartheid Egypt.

5- Pharoah (Satan) tries to annihilate Israel in Egypt. (Killing all the male babies)

6- Over and over again, all down through the history of Israel, Satan tries to destroy the promised seed, by corrupting the kings.

Verse 13 is but the renewal of this age long conflict between God and Satan. We have the story of this conflict revealed in Revelation 12:1-6. Take a moment to read it. The Woman is Israel. The 12 stars are the 12 tribes of Israel (Gen. 37:9). The baby born is Christ. The Dragon is the Devil. The plot is the conflict of the ages.  It is Israel, not Mary who brought forth this man child.

The key to understanding the conflict is the fact that, if Christ rules the nations and redeems mankind, Satan's kingdom will be lost! Herod then, is a pawn in Satan's hand. The real contestants are God and Satan. The battle ground is always the hearts and minds and lives of men. The ultimate object of this conflict of the ages is you and I! Will we give our allegiance to God or Satan.

Observe, it is not always easy to identify these forces, often the forces of Satan assume a disguise to fool men as to their true identity. Deception is one of Satan's major devices.

I want you to see two perspectives of Herod:

A- He Was The Ruler Of The land.

He appears to sit on the throne of David, he was powerful and wealthy and he sought hard to please the poeple. He renovated the Temple until it was an absolutly magnificent building. Wouldn't that impress? In fact he built beautiful buildings all over Palestine! He built the Aqueducts at Caesarea, the Herodian in Judea and other impressive projects. Herod was a very impressive fellow! He was a man of power, influence and wealth! How prone the church of Jesus Christ has been to want to identify with the rich and powerful of this world!

Illustration- As a boy I went to baseball games with my Dad, and I loved to go. The program was 25 cents. You needed a program because you couldn't tell the players without a program. So it is with the people of this world, you can be fooled about who is on the Lord's side! The program is God's Word! You can't tell who the players are until you put them alongside God's Word.

An individuals  great achievements do not mean they are on the right side of the 'conflict of the ages.' An individuals outward expression does not mean he is on the right side in the 'conflict of the ages'. Remember in verse 8, Herod said, "That I may come and worship him also", you can't tell a book by its cover. Herod had a nice cover, "That I may worship him also", Satan comes to the sanctuary, to church, in the persons through whom he is working!

B- The Real Herod Stands Up.

We see the real Herod in verse 16, "Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men." Now we see the real Herod exposed, we know from history that he murdered his sons, brother, uncle, mother-in-law and his wife. That is the real Herod!

Satan whitewashes his servants sometimes in order to deceive and defeat God's servants. Never forget that Satan is the great deceiver!

(Next week we will see the instructions for the flight)

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