Matthew 2:12 “And having been warned by God in a dream not to return to Herod, the magi left for their own country by another way.”
People’s words and intentions do not always add up. A kind gesture or pleasant inquiry may mask a less than stellar plot. This was certainly true when the Wise Men of old came to find the baby Jesus in Bethlehem.
To aid their search these wise men did the logical thing to find this newborn king: they visited the palace. There they spoke with Herod, the ruler of the land, who showed great interest in their search and feigned adoration of the little one, the King of the Jews. Before sending these seekers to Bethlehem, Herod directed, “When you have found Him, report back to me, so that I too may come and worship him.”
The Magi may or may not have had an inkling of the evil intentions of this ruler, but nothing was hidden from God. He saw beyond the pleasant words and promised worship into a heart that was filled with jealousy and wickedness. The Almighty God warned the Wise Men in a dream that they should not return home the way they came, but instead take a different route to avoid the disaster crouched in the palace and ready to spring. God thwarted Herod’s evil plan to learn more about the new king and the baby Jesus was safe.
It is a comforting thought to know that God can read beyond the words and intentions of people around us, but it also gives a reason for personal consideration. What do my outward actions portray that don’t match with my heart? God knows these, too. This warning is for all wise men everywhere. Make sure your heart matches your words and your actions. You may be able to fool your friends and neighbors but nothing gets past God.