“And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.” Matthew 2:13 (KJV)
Scripture doesn’t provide details as to means of travel, whether by foot or pack animal, but surely it wouldn’t have been a pleasant journey: they were refugees on the run.
So why would God prefer to preserve the life of infant Jesus through means of a trip? Why put the holy family through unholy ordeals of fleeing the familiar for the strange?
God could have secured baby Jesus in many another manner, of a supernatural kind, like giving Herod amnesia, or blinding his soldiers as happened to some Sodomites in Abraham’s day. Or any other means available to an all powerful God could have been the way He chose. But He didn’t.
It would have been easier, kinder I would think. All those babies wouldn’t have to die. Mamas wouldn’t have folded, shrieking out the night, groaned their agony. But they did.
When pondering this dilemma, several answers float up. One, we know a prophecy must be fulfilled: “Out of Egypt have I called my Son,” referring ancient Israel as antecedent, Jesus the authentic. Also, Egypt being a type of sin, it inks the story in red of believers being called out of that dark place.
Another reason of substance will hold up in an honest court: God didn’t cheat.
Aside from Joseph’s dream, which admittedly was supernatural, Jesus and all that surrounded Him remained humbly human. Up until His ministry began, and even then along with water to wine and healing mercies, other extraordinary events such as walking on water, feeding multitudes, raising the dead: Jesus the man knew firsthand hunger, cold, sweat, pain, and tears of trauma like we all do. It was and is part of the beauty and perfection of the plan.
That we might know God in our dusty flesh: truly and fully, one of us, one with us. He knows.
That’s a good one and there are others. But here is what I like best. God is mysterious. If we could grasp through logic all His ways, well then he wouldn’t be God, would He? And we wouldn’t be people.
“Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:” Isaiah 46: 9-10 (KJV)
In this one I can rest easy. I need go no further.