When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. – Matt. 2:16 NIV
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It could never had been the intention of the wise men to deceive King Herod, after all they were the ones that saw the star in heaven. They, it was that interpreted it and concluded on what it meant. It was their decision to seek out this new king and were wise enough to know that it would be completely wrong of them to go searching for a king as strangers in a town without first paying courtesy call to the citadel of leadership – Matt. 2:1-6. But what could they do when, after completing their mission, they were strongly instructed in a dream not to grant the wish of the King that they return to tell him where the new king was born – Matt. 2:7-8.
It must be equally surprising that an event of such magnitude could happen within the domain of such a powerful king and he will not only be unaware but also will not know where the event occurred even after his being informed of the occurrence of that event. To think that people far away could hear and trace this new king and none of his loyalists including his nobles, military commanders, family members, etc., could provide information about this great event can only be an act of God. This can only be another of the mysterious modes of operations of the Almighty God.
The above conclusion can only be made by those who acknowledge the constant role that God plays in the affairs of men and quickly align with it. For those who either do not see divine roles in human events or are unwilling to accept such interventions, their reaction will be similar to that of King Herod whose action after what he deemed betrayal by the wise men is the foundation scripture for today’s devotion.
- They consider the action of men under such circumstances as an attempt to dent their ego. The truth however is that the wise men had a choice between listening to the instructions of the Almighty God, which in most cases may not even be known to the one who feels slighted, and the directive of man. The decision to be on the side of the Almighty God should always be a no- brainer. At all times, God must be obeyed and the wise men acted true to how they were described which is that they are wise. Do not even have second thoughts about who to obey when a choice is to be made between the instructions of the Almighty God and any man, irrespective of his/her social status. God must be obeyed at all times – Dan. 3:16-18.
- They get angry and worked up because they conclude that it is an act of dis-respect to them. This is always the case especially when the personality has a large impression of whom he/she is. Ego remains a huge factor that will determine the reaction of anyone in such situations. Such a person refuses to see anyone except him/her self so is not able to consider the possibility of any other factor beyond the fact that there is a deliberate attempt to dis-honour or hurt him/her. One of the greatest factors that can destroy anyone is the inability to manage ego. An individual with ego can destroy life long achievement, in trying to defend a personality that is in no way present or threatened because as in this case, the birth of Jesus Christ posed absolutely no threat to the continued kingship of Herod. He spent all those times chasing shadows.
- They take maximum actions that is commensurate with their capacity to emphasise their importance which to them is unrecognised. The only limiting factor to what such individuals can do in such circumstances will just be actions that they are not capable of as every arsenal is deployed. There is no limit to how far a person of ego can go in order to restore what he believes is an attempt to rubbish him/her. Herod did not mind killing innocent children for as long as his position and authority is assured.
Many innocent children fell victim of the reaction of King Herod to a situation that did not threaten him in any way and there innocence did not save them. You have to be careful around the egocentric person and the one who lacks self confidence. Such a person is threatened by everything and lack of foresight in such environments can fast track the journey of the careless person to the land of the dead.
As Christians also, we need to eliminate all egocentric acts and all fears of being brought down as no one can destroy what God has built. Have faith in God with full assurance that he/she whom the Lord has blessed no man can curse and he whom the Lord has lifted up, no man can bring down.
May God save us all from the negative fallouts of ego mismanagement in Jesus name. Amen.