Jon Opgenorth

Read: Matthew 2:13-18

Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt. (v. 13)

Although I have awoken in terror from a dream, I have never been given dreams from God that called for action the way so many in Scripture did. I can only imagine what terror Joseph felt knowing that Herod was coming to kill his son. Joseph did not delay. Traveling at night was dangerous. There were no headlamps or flashlights to guide the way, and the young parents were walking roads they had never been down. “Flee” is an intense action verb. They packed quickly, walked briskly, maybe even running as they were able. When your child’s life is at stake, you will do whatever it takes to get to safety.

The story fulfills the prophecy of the Messiah coming out of Egypt (v. 15) as well as that of Bethlehem mourning its slain baby boys (v. 18). It also identifies Jesus as one who knows what it is to be on the move. Jesus will later say, “The Son of man has nowhere to lay his head” (Matt. 8:20). From the Israelites fleeing Pharaoh to Paul’s quick moves in avoiding attacks, God’s people have often been on the move.

Do you know what it’s like to flee? Most of us don’t, but reports suggest that more than 70 million people this year are living as refugees, fleeing terror of all kinds. On this day, I invite you to pause for a few moments and pray for people who have been forced to flee. —Jon Opgenorth

As you pray, remember all those who are fleeing today.