Experiencing Great Joy

KEY VERSE: “When they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.” —Matthew 2:11


WITH the birth of Jesus, the divine purpose to bless all the families became more than a promise. The promised king of glory had now been born. The light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of Israel, had come. It was the Son of God, the Logos, who had humbled himself, and was now found in fashion as a man. This was the one who had come to inherit David’s throne, and to rule over the house of Jacob forever.

Jesus had come to be a Prince and a Savior, the great Messiah of promise. He had come to sit at the head of a government which would extend its sphere of influence worldwide. He had come to enlighten the whole world, both Jews and Gentiles, concerning the true God and his love for the sin-sick and dying race.

How fitting that he should be honored by men. Even though as foretold at that time he would receive little recognition, in the action of these three who had traveled far to bestow such precious gifts, there was a meaningful sign pointing to the future.

At the time Jesus was born, nearly four thousand years had elapsed since God had said that the “seed” of the “woman” would bruise the “serpent’s head”; and about two thousand years had passed since God had promised Abraham that through his “seed” all the families of the earth should be blessed. But all the while, through his servants, God had continued to make promises which gave assurance of his love for the human race, and of his intention one day to deliver the people from their bondage to sin and death. These promises were directed specially to the natural descendants of Abraham, who became the nation of Israel. They constituted the basis of Israel’s hope in the coming of a Messiah, a great king who would establish a powerful government in Jerusalem, and eventually extend its rulership over all the earth.

The theme of God’s promises to Israel was a “joyful sound” to all the devout and faithful of that nation. (Ps. 89:15) As this theme song of God’s love unfolded, it gave assurance that through the promised Messiah all the ills of the world would be cured, and that all the problems created by human selfishness would be solved. Death was to be swallowed up in victory, and tears wiped away. (Isa. 25:6-9) Blind eyes were to be opened, and the lame were to “leap as an hart.” (Isa. 35) While, because of sin, God had turned man to destruction, in due time he was to say, “Return, ye children of men,” in a resurrection which would include both the “just and the unjust.”—Ps. 90:3; Acts 24:15

All these blessings were to reach Israel and the world through the agencies of the promised messianic kingdom. In a prayer David wrote: “Among the gods there is none like unto thee, O Lord; neither are there any works like unto thy works. All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord; and shall glorify thy name. For thou art great, and doest wondrous things: thou art God alone.”—Ps. 86:8-10

The gifts of the wise men nearly two thousand years ago might have seemed out of time. The world has continued on in darkness. That true light which will yet lighten every man that has come into the world has as yet enlightened only the few. The Sun of Righteousness has not yet risen to enlighten the world, which becomes more and more engulfed in sin. Indeed, today, we are in the midst of what the Scriptures foretold would be a “time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation.”

But there is every reason to believe that now the kingdom of the Messiah is about to be manifested in power and great glory, when all the righteous desires of the people will be realized and they will say, “Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the Lord; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.” (Isa. 25:9) And men, even from the far corneas of the earth, will come with their precious gifts to honor so great a king!

Dawn Bible Students Association
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