13 Now when they had gone, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up! Take the Child and His mother and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is going to search for the Child to destroy Him.” 14 So Joseph got up and took the Child and His mother while it was still night, and left for Egypt. 15 He remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called My Son.”
16 Then when Herod saw that he had been tricked by the magi, he became very enraged, and sent and slew all the male children who were in Bethlehem and all its vicinity, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the magi. 17 Then what had been spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: 18 “A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children; and she refused to be comforted, because they were no more.” 19 But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord *appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, and said, 20 “Get up, take the Child and His mother, and go into the land of Israel; for those who sought the Child’s life are dead.” 21 So Joseph got up, took the Child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Then after being warned by God in a dream, he left for the regions of Galilee, 23 and came and lived in a city called Nazareth. This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophets: “He shall be called a Nazarene.”
Matthew 2:13-23 (NASB)
The Lord was orchestrating Joseph’s actions in light of the grave threat against the Child. It’s interesting to me that God doesn’t simply remove the threat rather than send his Son all over kingdom come, especially knowing the atrocity Herod was about to perpetrate.
It’s important to note that his son Archelous, who would assume control over Judah upon his death, was a bad actor too. It’s apparent that God has his overarching purpose in mind always, and that the evil that abounds in this world is allowed to continue unabated.
It’s also clear that the main characters are protected throughout by divine instruction. But it’s also clear that Joseph was astute, and he was reading the tea leaves too. All of this to stay on track with previous predictions about the Messiah.
So there will continue to be the backdrop of evil until the Lord returns, and this he will do as he predicted. And the chosen ones like us will be aided and abetted by his guiding hand as we navigate through life, sometimes finding ourselves in Egypt, or even in an unlikely place like Nazareth, where no one would go on their own violation.
But we may also be caught in web of Satan’s evil machinations, like the poor families in Bethlehem.
We don’t understand it, evil that is, but we need to roll with it.