The Wise Men – faith to obey
Matthew 2:1-2 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.
How did the wise men or magi know to expect Christ? I looked at this here (and the star here )
As I said then, I’m persuaded these magi knew the ancient prophecy in Numbers 24:17
I will point to him, but not now; I bless him, but he draws not near:
a star shall rise out of Jacob, a man shall spring out of Israel; and shall
crush the princes of Moab, and shall spoil all the sons of Seth. (LXX)
But I have to be honest, the Scriptures are silent on this – it doesn’t explain how they knew to expect Christ. I conclude it doesn’t matter how they knew Christ was coming and would be announced by a star, the facts are: they did know and when they saw the star they immediately set off to find and worship him. They believed he was coming, they believed the star announced he had just been born, and as a direct result of this belief they went to worship him. They had faith to obey.
As I said in my last post, “When you believe you obey: obedience springs from faith. Faith and obedience are like Siamese twins – you never see one without the other. If I say I believe but I don't obey, then I do not have saving, sanctifying faith; I do not have the faith that pleases God. Throughout the entire Bible, whenever someone believed the Lord it affected what they did; and whenever folks did not obey they were charged with unbelief (Hebrews 3:17-19).” Rather than sharing the testimony of Israel in the wilderness, I did not believe nor did I obey, I would prefer my testimony to be:
Trust and obey,
For there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus,
But to trust and obey. (Trust and Obey, by John H. Sammis)
The composer of the music for this hymn, Daniel B. Towner, provided the following account of the birth of this song:
“[In 1886] Mr. Moody was conducting a series of meetings in Brockton, Massachusetts, and I had the pleasure of singing for him there. One night a young man rose in a testimony meeting and said, ‘I am not quite sure—but I am going to trust, and I am going to obey.’ I just jotted that sentence down, and sent it with a little story to the Rev. J. H. Sammis, a Presbyterian minister. He wrote the hymn, and the tune was born.”