7Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.
Herod is a liar. We know later on in this chapter that he never had intentions of honoring and worshipping Jesus. He wanted to kill him. But I am sure he sounded convincing. What he said probably made the Magi feel good and confident and they most likely had no reason to not want to come immediately back to Herod and give up the location of the baby.
What are peoples intentions with you? Do they flatter you, while preparing their "hand" to strike. Are they your "friend" so that they can take advantage of you?
There is not a person alive who hasn't had someone in their life just like Herod. And most likely, most of us reading this have been Herod to people in our lives at some point. We treat people like objects and resources to be plundered. We are strip mined by those who claim to be our friends. They take what is meant to be beautiful and cherished, and tear it down beyond recognition for self-centered reasons. Needs and desires of self outweigh love, compassion and sacrifice for the good of those who are made in the image of the living God.
People will often feel bad about the consequences of pain that they give, but that doesn't stop them. Always looking for the next opportunity to take from those too weak and vulnerable to protest and protect.
In verse 12 the Magi avoid Herod to protect Jesus and his family. Why? Because God had revealed the truth of Herod's true intentions. And, they acted accordingly. They realized the danger of Herod, listened to God, and protected themselves and others from Herod's flattering lies.
This is the guide post for us. God's truth. We are incapable of really knowing the true heart of someone. Even if you were a mind reader, the human heart is a mystery beyond our ability to comprehend. When we become deeply rooted in God's word, His love, His truth, we are developing a protective heart barrier that will send us warning signals loud and clear.
Along with that, God speaks with power and clarity through the people of His Church. Our we submitting our lives and hearts to the communion of God's people? We are so susceptible to flattery, abuse, lies and more. Who are the truth seekers in your life that will stand for truth in your life? Who will graciously and patiently help you see what you are allowing to happen, AND, what YOU are doing yourself?
We have to make a choice to no longer be a victim. It is not our fault that people hurt us. But it is time for us to choose to live by faith, not by sight. Our eyes will convince us of the validity of the lie, our faith will reveal to us the truth.
So, who do you trust? There is only one who is the, "same, yesterday, today, and, tomorrow"
Who is really watching your back?