13 When the Wise Men had left, Joseph had a dream. In the dream an angel of the Lord appeared to him. “Get up!” the angel said. “Take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you to come back. Herod is going to search for the child. He wants to kill him.” 14 Joseph got up. During the night, he left for Egypt with the child and his mother Mary. 15 They stayed there until King Herod died. So the words the Lord had spoken through the prophet came true. He had said, “I chose to bring my son out of Egypt.” (Hosea 11:1) 16 Herod realized that the Wise Men had tricked him. So he became very angry. He gave orders concerning Bethlehem and the area around it. All the boys two years old and under were to be killed. This agreed with the time when the Wise Men had seen the star. 17 In this way, the words the prophet Jeremiah spoke came true. He had said, 18 “A voice is heard in Ramah. It’s the sound of crying and deep sadness. Rachel is crying over her children. She refuses to be comforted, because they are gone.” (Jeremiah 31:15) 19 After Herod died, Joseph had a dream while he was still in Egypt. In the dream an angel of the Lord appeared to him. 20 The angel said, “Get up! Take the child and his mother. Go to the land of Israel. Those who were trying to kill the child are dead.” 21 So Joseph got up. He took the child and his mother Mary back to the land of Israel. 22 But then he heard that Archelaus was king of Judea. Archelaus was ruling in place of his father Herod. This made Joseph afraid to go there. Warned in a dream, Joseph went back to the land of Galilee instead. 23 There he lived in a town called Nazareth. So what the prophets had said about Jesus came true. They had said, “He will be called a Nazarene.”
Traveling such a distance with a young mother [who would be about 15-16 years old] with a baby on a donkey under instructions from the God who they knew and trusted, they set out. It was not just a one hour trip, it was possibly days even weeks! We aren’t given any details of who went with them to help – maybe some servants or relatives. Questions like what would they take for the journey or for how long they would need the things are not mentioned.
Some time later they received a second word from God to pack up and return to Israel. So off they went again! We don’t know if there any other children by then or how old Jesus was – maybe between 5-10 years old.
Hearing from God comes from knowing Him – not knowing about God but having a personal faith. Joseph was a man of maturity and understanding so he knew God was on their side and that He would look after them in every situation. He had no hesitation in following what the angel said. God said it so he believed it, and that settled it!
Lord, may we be ready to hear your voice and always follow your leading in our lives.
Written by Joan Bennett