As so many of my writings seem to begin, I had a dream. I was at a church speaking. I was older. My son led me to and from the podium. My eyesight had failed, for when I turned to my text I could not see to read it. I then asked a pastor to read Matthew 2:8. However, he mistakenly read Matthew 4:8 and continued on reading more of the passage. When he was done I told him I had actually wanted Matthew 2:8 which he then also read. As soon as I woke up I quickly turned to both scriptures to find what God was trying to say to me.
In Matthew 4, Jesus is having his “test” with satan. In 4:8 He is facing his third and final temptation. satan offers Jesus all the kingdoms of the world if He will but fall down and worship him. Of course, Jesus refused. After all, umm, who do all the kingdoms of the world belong to in the first place? Jesus might have been a little tired and hungry in that human body, but He was still God in the flesh, the Creator of all things. The Lord was, and is, and will always be victorious. Jesus conquered death, hell, and the grave!
Jesus refused to worship satan. Jesus cannot be fooled or tricked by satan, nor by any one of us. When we try to barter with Jesus, He knows we have no intention of keeping empty promises. Don’t make them! Also note, the devil is a master of making promises he cannot keep. Beware not to fall for them. Jesus didn’t.
The second scripture that was read in the dream, (Matthew 2:8) is also about a request made for worship; not worship by Jesus the man, but worship of Jesus then just a child. The evil king Herod sends out a party in search of the Messiah. When He is found the men are to report his location to Herod so he can join them in worship of Him.
Herod’s true intent was murder, not worship. Just as satan had an ulterior motive in seeking out Jesus, so did Herod. Herod was in fear of losing his status, his kingship, his title. If this child, this Jesus, was to be King of the Jews, where would that leave him? The men who searched for and found Jesus were warned in a dream not to return to Herod with the information he was seeking.
Is there an ulterior motive in your search for Jesus? Do you really want to worship Him, or are you in search of Him for some sort of selfish reason? You may not be out to destroy Him, but maybe you have hope He will help you attain, or keep some sort of title or status? Jesus knows when worship is true and pure, not seeking anything for self, but simply seeking Him. He knows the intent of your heart always.
Psalm 75: 5 Lift not up your horn on high: speak not with a stiff neck. 6 For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. 7 But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another. 8 For in the hand of the LORD there is a cup, and the wine is red; it is full of mixture; and he poureth out of the same: but the dregs thereof, all the wicked of the earth shall wring them out, and drink them
God will not allow evil to rule and reign forever. King Herod’s death is recorded in Acts 12.
21 And upon a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat upon his throne and made an oration unto them. 22 And the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man. 23 And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost.
God used a dream to tell the men not to go to Herod in Matthew. Dreams have a purpose in our lives. I believe God still uses them to speak to us, to direct us, and warn us of things in this life. No matter how many opportunities we have to promote self, it is always far more important to promote Jesus through our words and actions, and through our worship.