Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, "Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him." (Matthew 2:7-8)Since Herod asked for the time of the star's appearance, he may have been wondering just how hard it would be to destroy this new "King". What sort of rebel was he dealing with? It must have come as somewhat of a relief that the star had appeared only two years ago (for more info see When Did The Magi Arrive At The "Manger"?). This was not a fully grown man that he needed to track down and destroy. This was a mere child!
If there is one thing that God hates more than the man who refuses to bow his knee in worship, it is the man who bows his knee pretending to worship. Herod in verse eight quite literally demonstrates the heart of the false worshiper. Herod's intent was not worship; it was murder. The heart of every such pretender is the same.
When a man pretends to worship, he is demonstrating that he regards serving God as an unbearable burden. Such a man, if it were more convenient, would choose to forsake God all together.
In the presence of the Magi, it was most convenient for Herod to play the part of a false worshiper. It was the best way that he saw to carry out the true intent of his heart: attempting to murder God.
- The Magi Rejoice Over the Reappearance Of The Star - Matthew 2:9-10
- Jesus Born In Bethlehem: The Fulfillment of Micah 5:2 - Matthew 2:5-6
- When Did The Magi Arrive At The "Manger"?
- King Herod Troubled By The News From The Magi - Matthew 2:3-4
- Matthew's Portrayal Of Gentiles (The Magi) As The First Christ Worshipers