Luke 2:1 (ESV)
In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered.
Imagine the frustration of Joseph and Mary, who was about to give birth, when the government required a global registration. The government required them to leave their home, travel on foot 90 miles (approx. 150 km), being pregnant, with no place to stay— all because of a government edict—a proposed TAX. And then the government sought to kill their baby, and they had to flee to Egypt for two years until a change in government occurred.
Inconvenient, but no complaint is offered about the government, no frustration is expressed—instead they express gratitude for the Christ Child, the Savior of the world. They marveled at these things and the awareness that:
- God was working in mysterious ways
- The government was doing its thing—doing what governments do—issuing edicts and requirements and taxing, and inconvenient, frustrating decisions—but government was a secondary cause—the primary cause was God Himself, as He was working…
Matthew 2:5–7 (ESV) It was actually God who brought them to Bethlehem.
They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:
“‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’”
Matthew 2:15 (ESV) It was God who brought them to Egypt and then home.
This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt I called my son.”
Galatians 4:4–5 (ESV)
But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.
We are about to enter another lockdown situation, with many opinions, complaints, and many frustrations and inconveniences; but perhaps like Joseph and Mary, we can keep a check on our frustration and complaints—and instead, keep our eyes on the bigger picture—and be deeply grateful that there is a Saviour for the world, good news for all people, and in the midst of our present government edicts and requirements, we can ask ourselves—What is God doing? What is God bringing about? How is He advancing His purposes in what seems so inconvenient and frustrating for us?
Remember, when Mary gave birth to Jesus, they laid him in an animal feed box, because there was no room for them in the inn. Now that was a hardship—and it would be about four years before they got back to Nazareth, their own hometown. Let’s hope it will be only four weeks of inconvenience for us, and then back together.
Lockdowns do not surprise God. There is a Saviour, Christ the King—put your faith in Him, keep your faith on Him, live out your faith through Him—until we meet again!
Now may the Lord of peace himself give you his peace at all times and in every situation. The Lord be with you all. (2 Thess. 3:16)