The Gift of Government

Amy Clemens

Read: Matthew 1:18-2:23

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? ” (2:2)

Imagine, because Caesar who calls himself “God” orders a census, Jesus is born in Bethlehem instead of Nazareth (Luke 2), fulfilling prophesies that are thousands of years old.

If you are the one true God, how do you plan that? And how do you keep your Son alive just miles from King Herod, who kills family members and babies out of lust for power? How do you get astronomers from the East there on time–Gentiles who don’t know you, yet worship Jesus and help you keep him safe? And how do you know that Joseph and Mary will respond quickly to a dream? And why, oh why, do you send them fleeing to Egypt for safety?

Such intricate planning and intimate knowing is why we are not God. It is why we say, with fervor, “your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” What we know is we serve a God who uses governments to further a story of brokenness and redemption; what we can rest in is that “of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end” (Isa. 9:7).

—Amy Clemens

Giver of good gifts, help me rest in what you are doing in this world as well as in the one to come.