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10 a.m. Tuesday November 22, 2022. 44F/7C.

Dowry. If the wealth of the forest was in its trees, then hickory nuts would be hundred dollar bills. Their sweetness is safely hidden within woody chests. It requires a hammer and a pry bar to crack the rock-hard safe. After all that work, they must be checked for worms. Looking up through gray and white branches, the sky is pale blue, and that is a good sign. Rays of the sun strike the shoulders. The warmth is pure kindness to the heart. Nothing roars in the sky. The sun is losing its metallic glare. Long thin shadows of trees run across the dirt road. The air is once more worth deep breathing. The forest offers many gifts, not the least of which is its peace.

The Gospel of Matthew, chapter two

Abba Father, I humbly beseech thee, to reveal your meanings in your word. In the name of Yeshua, I ask. Amen.

King Herod had juggled information from various sources to discern when and where the prophesied king of Judaea would be born. He sent the wisemen off to Bethlehem to find the child and report back to Jerusalem so that they could all go and worship.

He didn’t intend it to happen that way. The wisemen did not really mock anyone, as much as they simply listened to God’s messengers. So, actually, it was God mocking Herod. The wisemen left gifts for the child’s wealth and went home without going through Jerusalem.

Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men.

Nobody would be king after Herod, except those of his children whom he let live. The Romans once said that it was better to be a dog in Herod’s household, than a son. It was gruesome work for the military under Herod.

Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by the Jeremy the prophet, saying,

In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.

The prophecy quoted was in Jeremiah 31.

Thus saith the Lord; A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping; Rahel weeping for her children refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not.

Thus saith the Lord; Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears: for thy work shall be rewarded, saith the Lord; and they shall come again from the land of the enemy.

– Jeremiah 31:15-16

It seems as if the mothers were being assured of their sons’ heavenly rewards because of the reason they were killed. Yeshua would return again from the land of the enemy, both return as a child from Egypt the enemy, and return from hell after defeating the enemy with his death on the cross. Yeshua’s death on the cross was a bigger deal than we in our day, make it out to be.

But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt,

Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young child’s life.

And he arose, and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel.

Interesting that Matthew made no mention of Yeshua’s brothers or sisters. He only writes that at that point in time, Joseph’s driving purpose was to protect Mary and the young messiah. I would put Yeshua’s age at around 8 years old.

Matthew worked as a tax collector in the region of Galilee. Mary lived in that region as well. It is likely that Matthew and Mary met more than once, giving the disciple of Yeshua opportunities to hear the family’s history from the woman who was mother to Yeshua.

How long the gift of the wisemen lasted for the family is hard to say, but knowing how our heavenly Father lavishes gifts on those he loves, it lasted long enough and then some.

Life in the hollow, Tuesday

We are made in God’s image. Yeshua was/is a perfect image of God. And yet, all we humans, and Yeshua was human, all we have quirks in our personalities.

Do I dare ask if our heavenly Father has personality quirks? Did we get our quirks from him? I know for certain that he hates idolatry.

The voice of his Holy Spirit confirms, “I hate idolatry.”

Our heavenly Father is a wildman, sort of. He is lavish in his gifts. He is certain in his word. He is over the top in his passion desire. He IS love. If we repent and seek him, he will reveal more than we ever imagined.

God is love.

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