I love books. When I was in twelfth grade I decided to take advanced English. Sometime around the beginning of the school year I was given a book called Sarum by Edward Rutherford. That book was over 1200 pages. I thought, “No way, this book is too long!” Back then I did not read books that long. Well, little did I know I would really enjoy that book. Also, little did I know that if you schedule your reading little by little you can read a lot in a school year. Sarum is historical fiction. Edward Rutherford tracked a family in England from hundreds of years before Christ up until the 1980’s. It was neat to see how he weaved real historical events into the story. He tracked the family and their descendants from ancient pagan England with the Druids and Stonehenge up through Christianity and the middle ages, renaissance and up until post World War Two. It was neat and I enjoyed it. In fact, there is a series of books by Edward Rutherford in which he takes a family and begins a few hundred years before Christ, and he tracks that family up until the late 1900’s. Most of these take place in England or Ireland, though I understand he has one in New York now. In 2007, I began Rutherford’s book titled “London.” In that book he began in London a few hundred years before Christ and followed a family and their descendants up through the twentieth century. That was neat. He once again began in pagan England and then went up through Roman occupied England and then Christianity entering England and then the Vikings and on and on and on. He wrote about the building of many great buildings and so much more. Once again, I love books. In books you can go to faraway places, in books you can learn about far away things. I love books.
The Edward Rutherford books have a common theme and so does the Bible. We can track that theme from Genesis through Revelation.
What we see throughout the Bible is that God is in control, even of the details. Actually, that was my first sermon EVER, God is in control of the details. God is in control of the details of history. God cares about the details. Cross reference and how one verse correlates with another has always encouraged my faith.
We began a sermon series a few weeks ago in which I wish to talk about prophesies about Jesus in the Old Testament which are fulfilled in Him as the Messiah. I am using the word prophesy lightly. Two weeks ago we talked about a prophesy given by God Himself. Today, we are going to talk about an allusion or a type. Just as Israel was called by God out of Egypt, Jesus will also be called out of Egypt.
When Israel was a child, I loved him,
and out of Egypt I called my son.
Now, let’s also read:
And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt15 and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt I called my son.”
Today my theme is:
Jesus is called out of Egypt just like God led Israel out of Egypt.
God has total control over the past, present and the future.
- The original meaning of Hosea 11:1:
- In Hosea 11:1 the prophet is talking about how God led Israel out of Egypt.
- Hosea was reminding them how God lovingly led them out of Egypt (Exodus chapter 4 and following), and they returned God’s goodness with idolatry.
- Look at Hosea 11:2: The more they called them, The more they went from them;
- They kept sacrificing to the Baals And burning incense to idols.
- God lovingly took care of Israel leading them out of Egypt, but they went after fake gods.
- The ESV Study Bible: When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son. Here is one of the most endearing passages in Hosea. The prophet uses another family metaphor, portraying the Lord not only as a husband but also as a father (cf. Luke 15:11–32). This metaphor was not original to Hosea (cf. 4:22–23). Matthew 2:15uses the line “out of Egypt I called my son” to show that Jesus is the “Son of God,” i.e., the heir of David who embodies Israel’s relationship to God (cf. 2 Sam. 7:14; Ps. 89:26–27).
- So, let’s jump to Matthew 2:14 and 15.
- Matthew’s Gospel uses this passage when baby Jesus’ family leaves Egypt.
- See Matthew 2:14-15: And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt15 and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt I called my son.”
- What we see in Matthew chapter 2 is that God is taking care of the young baby Jesus. That is powerful. Jesus is fully God and fully man, but He also is a baby or a toddler. God sends a message to Joseph telling him to take Mary and Jesus and go to Egypt. In Matthew 2:13 it reads: 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.”
- God in His providence knows that Herod wants to kill the Savior and so God sends Jesus’ family to Egypt. Then in verses 14-18 we see Herod slaughtering babies to try to kill the Messiah. However, Jesus was safe in Egypt.
- One source adds: A very large Jewish community lived in Egypt in this period. Perhaps one-third of Alexandria, located in northern Egypt, was Jewish; with a population estimated at about one million, it was one of the empire’s largest cities. Alexandria included a well-to-do Jewish element, schooled in Greek thought; most inhabitants of Egypt, however, were agrarian peasants, some of the poorest in the empire. Other Jewish communities had existed farther south, especially in Elephantine, for centuries. Literature from Palestinian Jews indicates that many of them questioned the devoutness of their Egyptian Jewish kinfolk, although Egyptian Jews considered themselves faithful to God.
- The Nile made travel easy within Egypt, but the coastal road to Egypt from Palestine was not the finest, and Egypt would be even harder to reach from Bethlehem without traveling northward to Jerusalem (one would have to take the poorer route southward to Hebron; see comment on 2:12). Egypt had served as a place of refuge in the past (1 Kings 11:40; Jer 26:21). By leaving “at night,” Joseph’s family made their route of departure impossible to trace; the language might also evoke Jewish readers’ memory of Exodus 12:31.
- What is interesting is that while Jesus is in Egypt He is being protected and in reality way back in time while the Jewish people were in Egypt they, also, were being protected. They were being protected and formed into a nation. That is the connection that Matthew noticed. Just as God lovingly took care of the Israelites in Egypt He also lovingly watched over Jesus.
- One source shares: “. . . Matthew looked back and carefully drew analogies between the events of the nation’s history and the historical incidents in the life of Jesus.”10
- What seems to be happening here is that Matthew noticed that Israel being preserved and made a nation in Egypt is comparable to Jesus and His upbringing being preserved in Egypt.
- Matthew does this repeatedly. Repeatedly, Matthew notices similarities in Jesus’ life and Israel’s history.
- Matthew is known for being written to a Jewish audience and they were a people that needed to know that Jesus as the Messiah fulfilled the Old Testament. All throughout Matthew’s Gospel he is writing, “this fulfilled…” In fact, look at verses 16-18: 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. Then what had been spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: “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.
- In that passage Matthew quotes Jeremiah 31:15.
- So, what you need to know is that Matthew knew the Old Testament well enough to make the connection between what Hosea wrote in Hosea 11:1 about God leading the Hebrew people out of Egypt and now how God watched over Jesus.
- The question is can we connect the dots?
- Be encouraged: God has total control over the past, present and the future.
- If you are ever discouraged in your faith remember how the Bible connects with one giant theme from Genesis to Revelation. There are well over 300 prophesies of Christ fulfilled in His life, death and resurrection. The Bible is a metanarrative. This means it is one grand story made up of smaller stories.
- We can trust God in the small matters of life because God is in control of everything.
- We may think little details do not matter to God, but they do. God took care of Israel and God took care of His Son Jesus.
- We may think our prayers do not matter, there are bigger things for God to take care of, but you know what? God can take care of both, the small and the big.
- We may have doubts. We may doubt that Jesus was the real Messiah, but all of these passages in the Old Testament fulfilled in Jesus show the validity of who Jesus was and Is.
- We can trust the Bible. We can trust Jesus.
- Study the Bible. The Bible is powerful. Isn’t it awesome how the Bible all fits together?
I am amazed at how God works things out.
At one time I was watching a documentary about American history, and the Revolutionary War, and I learned that after the British burned Washington DC, they were heading to Baltimore, but a hurricane hit them. How often does a hurricane hit Washington DC? Not often. I don’t think we are God’s chosen people, but I do think maybe the Lord helped us in the Revolutionary War. Maybe the Lord preserved us so that we could save Europe in WW2. Think about it, what would have happened if we could not help win WW2?
God is in control of history. Think about this. During WW2 Hitler over-extended Germany by entering the Soviet Union, then the Russian Winter also defeated Hitler. The Lord is in control. What would have happened if he did not do that?
I referenced the 300 prophesies, Josh McDowell writes:
One reason the Bible’s Old Testament is so important to Christians is that it contains prophecy — over 300 predictions, in fact — that, like the threads of a tapestry, establish the Messianic credentials of Jesus.
Put another way, the Old Testament is like an intricate jigsaw puzzle. The numerous pieces, on their own, are puzzling — until they are assembled enough to fill out the intended picture. Thus, the New Testament is the decryption key for unlocking Old Testament meaning.
Some might say, after reading through a list of Old Testament prophecy, that some were fulfilled in the deaths of Kennedy, Nasser, King, and other great figures. One could possibly find a prophecy or two fulfilled in the lives of these notable fellas; but not one of them can be credited with fulfilling all of them. Only Jesus did so.
Just a handful of prophecy that Jesus fulfilled: He was born in Bethlehem, preceded by a messenger (John the Baptist), entered Jerusalem on a donkey, was betrayed by a friend who received thirty pieces of silver, was silent before His accusers, and died in the manner Romans used for criminals (crucifixion), during which they pierced His hands and feet.
Peter Stoner, in his classic book Science Speaks, calculated the chance of any man fulfilling these prophecies, even down to the present time, to be 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000 (10 to the 17th power).
How can anyone think that Jesus just “happened” to be in the right place at the right time? Clearly, we can’t consider coincidence.
Be encouraged, the Lord is in control.
Confess, Believe, trust, commit: Firmly make the decision to be with Him in order to become like Him and to learn and do all that He says and then arrange your affairs around Him.
Keener, C. S., & InterVarsity Press. (1993). The IVP Bible background commentary : New Testament (Mt 2:12-13). Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press.
10 101. Tracy L. Howard, “The Use of Hosea 11:1 in Matthew 2:15: An Alternative Solution,” Bibliotheca Sacra143:572 (October-December 1986):325. This article evaluated several other proposed solutions to this difficult citation.