7 Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared.
8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” – Matthew 2:7-8
12 And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.
13 Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.”
14 And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt
15 and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt I called my son.” – Matthew 2:12-15
The wise men were looking for the King who had just been born. By error, they asked the king, Herod, and Herod felt challenged by the idea of a potential rival, even if the rival was only a baby. So, Herod devised a wicked plan to find this baby, and kill him.
But God’s plans cannot be thwarted. Rather than the wise men reporting back to Herod the location of the Savior, God gave it to them to go back another route, avoiding Herod altogether.
But notice that God wasn’t merely reacting to a situation, or calling an audible, as they say in football. No, Herod’s wickedness was part of the plan. It was through Herod’s evil heart and intentions that Joseph and his family would flee to Egypt, so that Christ may fulfill the Old Testament scripture,
When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son. – Hosea 11:1
So, far from even coming close to thwarting God’s plan, Herod’s own plans were thwarted, and he was in fact used to fulfill God’s plan. What a display of man’s folly and God’s wisdom!
There’s a bumper sticker out there that says, “Relax; God’s in charge.” Simple as the bumper sticker is, it’s true. We can, in fact, rest in the sovereignty of God. It’s not enough to say that God will use a bad situation for good. He has in fact written the bad situation for good. It’s not only that He allowed it; He planned it.
So, when you face a trial in your life, know that God knows what He is doing, and even though it may hurt, we can rest in the fact that He is accomplishing His good purposes, and whatever the situation is, He intends it for our sanctification, our eventual glorification, and His glory.
Lord, help us to keep these things in mind when we are suffering.