The God who warns gave the wise men a dream, so they didn’t return to Herod in Jerusalem. God directs Jesus’ life to accomplish His divine plan for salvation. Jesus came to a hostile world that wanted to take His life from the beginning.
God Warned the Wise Men
Herod was so ruthless that he killed a wife and other family members he considered a threat to his kingship. He was so brutal that as he was dying, he ordered the leading citizens of Jericho to be killed so there would be tears at his funeral. This cruel man did not hesitate to kill babies he thought might grow up to threaten him.
Matthew 2: 12 When it was time to leave, they returned to their own country by another route, for God had warned them in a dream not to return to Herod. The wise men obeyed God’s warning. It took courage to disobey Herod’s orders, but they did it.
God Warned Joseph
Even though the wise men avoided Herod, he didn’t give up on his evil plan. Matthew 2:13 After the wise men were gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up! Flee to Egypt with the child and his mother,” the angel said. “Stay there until I tell you to return because Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”
The wise men’s gifts gave the family funds to travel to Egypt. It was relatively close, and there were Jewish communities there. Joseph was obedient to follow this warning. This obedience not only saved Jesus but fulfilled a prophecy. Hosea 11:1When Israel was a child, I loved him, and I called my son out of Egypt.
Obedience as Worship
We see obedience playing a part in saving Jesus’ life with the wise men and Joseph. God’s warning to them would have been useless without their compliance. They were willing to set aside their plans to do the plans of God. Psalm 119: 34 Give me understanding, and I will obey Your instructions; I will put them into practice with all my heart.
Did the wise men and Joseph fully understand their situations? I don’t think so, but they fully trusted God and obeyed. In a genuine sense, by their actions, they were worshipping God. Their willingness to act on God’s warning showed they considered God greater than themselves. Their hearts were bowing down to do what God desired. How can your actions and obedience demonstrate your worship of God?
To learn about the God who warns, listen here:
 Wright, T. (2004). Matthew for Everyone, Part 1: Chapters 1-15 (p. 14). Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge.
[2-5] Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188.