Title: Don’t let the enemy use you
Text: Matt 2:1-19
Introduction: Today I want to talk you about the Grinch who stole Christmas. But not the Dr. Seuss tale but the one the Bible talks about. King Herod was the real Grinch who attempted to steal Christ-mas. He tried to kill Jesus. Like the Grinch, Herod had personal issues that hindered him from embracing real love. I believe that Herod’s personal issues were opening the enemy needed to carry out his plan to stop God’s plan of salvation through Jesus Christ. My Brothers and Sister, if we are not careful we can be used by the enemy to stop what God is doing in lives of others. We can’t have a spirit of Herod so the enemy can use us.
Our text opens up when Jesus the Savior is born in Bethlehem of Judea in the day of King Herod. And when Jesus was born there came 3 wise men, Magi who were looking for the who promised in Isaiah 9:6 “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” They have been waiting but now the promise was here! They knew he was one they have been waiting for because the text says that they saw his star. This goes back to Num. 24:17, “the star of Jacob and the scepter shall rise out of Israel…” But they were not just coming to see the promised King. Oh no! They were coming to do more than that. They were coming to worship, to bow down to give him reverence as Lord and King. They came to submit to his authority on earth. The True King is now here. This is the reason of celebration for this season. The Savior is born! You would think this would be a good thing for most people especially during this time of Jewish oppression. The Savior was coming to defeat the wicked. But everybody is not happy about Jesus coming. We see there is a problem in v.3. When King Herod heard these things i.e. that true king was born, the text says that he was troubled meaning disturbed or upset. His spirit was stricken in fear by this news. Why? Because King Herod knew that there can be only one King! Herod knew his time was up and he was threatened by it which leads us to our first point.
I. The enemy will use your insecurity to do his work
But why was Herod insecure? Let’s look at his background. Herod was an appointed king of Judea by the Romans in 40BC because of his impressive war skills. Man will promote you for what you can do them. He was a brutish man who killed members of his family and his own wife because he felt threatened he was going to lose his power. So you can imagine how insecure he was feeling when he heard this news. But the text also says that “and all of Jerusalem was troubled”. Not because of the birth of Jesus but because of the rage of Herod. The people knew that he was a kill and innocent people were going to suffer because he was upset. Your insecurity will affect other people. Herod was upset because he was appointed. But Jesus was anointed. You have seen something like this before. King Saul was appointed king of Isreal he too was insecure. But David was anointed. Man can only appoint. But it is the Lord that anoints! King Herod teaches us that some people who don’t like you because they are threatened by you because you are anointed. That is why some of you have trouble on your job. Your bosses are threatened because they were appointed. But you have been anointed for this and they are troubled because they have the spirit of Herod and the enemy is using them. The enemy will use your emotional state to get you all ralled up and make you do things that are not godly and make you operate out of fear rather than out of love. Look how King Herod operates in v. 4 He gathers all the chief priest and scribes together and demands them to tell him his whereabouts. Have you ever met somebody who only wants to use you for information? That is what Herod is doing here. This is a controlling spirit. Herod got his information but I like how they told him. They told him right from the word. It was written by the prophet, “And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Judah: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.” After Herod heard this, in v. 7 he then called for a private meeting with the wise men. This leads us to our next point.
II. The Enemy will make you compromise your integrity
He called for this secret meeting with the wise men and asked him diligently meaning digging for the specific facts of the exact time the star appear in order to calculate the Holy child’s location. Then he sent the wise men to find him and bring a word back to him so he may come to worship him. Hold up! How can you truly submit to somebody you are threaten by? That is not integrity. This is false worship. He did not want to see him to worship Him. His heart was not right. When you heart is not in something and you have the wrong motives, you will lack integrity and it will eventually show. You will not be morally upright. Church, don’t have the spirit of Herod. We have to walk integrity. He wanted to come to Jesus for the wrong reason. There are some people who come to church for the wrong reasons. They come to be nosey. They come because they can be somebody. And they come because they have been sent by the enemy.
When the wise men set out to find where the Holy child was born, the star appeared. God always guides you to where he is. They saw it in the east and it stood over where young Jesus was. They rejoiced with great joy. They came into the house and saw the child with his mother and they fell down and worshipped Him. Then they opened gifts and presented them to Him. This tells us that every time we come into the presence of the Lord we ought to bring a gift. But if you don’t have anything to give, offer up a sacrifice of praise. But these were no ordinary gifts. They were prophetic in nature. They gave Him gold for his royalty, frankincense for his divinity and myrrh for his crucifixion. Their worship was not like Herod’s. They worshipped with integrity; in Spirit and in truth. God looks out for these types of worshippers. Look at what he does in v. 12. God warned them not to go back to Herod but to go home another way home. This shows that God will change our direction to carry out His plan.
When you have a promise on your life God will protect you from your enemy. His earthly father, Joseph gets a dream to take the child to Egypt until He sends a word again for them to return because Herod was trying to kill him. So they went and the promise was fulfilled in v. 15 which is quoted from Hosea 11:1, “Out of Egypt have I called my son!” When Herod saw that he was being mocked, he reacted in a bad way. This leads us to our next point.
III. The Enemy works thru your anger to hurt the innocent
Have you ever taken out your anger on people who did not deserve it? Look at what mean spirited Herod did. He kills all the children in that region who were born around the time Jesus was born. You may not have killed the innocent physically but because of your attitude you have killed the innocent verbally, emotionally, and spiritually because you had a bad day. The enemy perverts our emotions so he can use it to try to stop God’s plan. They enemy loves when we get anger because we lose control. When that happens we are no longer controlled by the Holy Spirit. Anger is not the fruit of the Spirit. That is why we need to be filled with the Spirit so love will come out of us instead of anger. We get angry for things we can not control. Anger causes a downward spiral or self defeat. Anger is bondage. When it explodes, it hurts a lot of people but mainly you hurt yourself because you hurt the heart of God because you did not operate out of love. This Herodian spirit only leads to death and defeat. This leads us to our last point.
IV. The Enemy will use you but he won’t give you victory
Enemy will make you fight but you won’t win. Look at verse 19. Herod did not complete his goal. He died at a young age according to church history at 37. He died. But the child lived. He lives today and forever more! Not only does Jesus lives forever but those of us who worship Him as Lord and Savior will live forever in Him. We have a promise of eternal life.
Celebration: Church, we can’t let the enemy influence us to operate with the spirit of Herod. We can’t be insecure. We can’t have wrong motives. We can’t operate on anger. I believe that God allowed us to be alive so we can be fortunate enough to read this gospel account as a warning not to have spirit of Herod trying to stop what God has promised so we can have our own agenda. Everybody here at one time has had a spirit of Herod and the enemy has used it and turned it against us. But aren’t you glad that Jesus is the God of another chance to do right. Here in the text, the Lord shows us what to do when we realize that we have been influenced by the spirit of Herod. In v.12 it tells us not to return to Herod. Herod represents the flesh. Don’t go back to things of the flesh. Don’t go back to insecurity. Don’t go back to wrong motives. Don’t go back to anger but turn and go another way. Go where God is sending you. Go another way where there is love and not hate. Go another way that is freedom and not bondage. Go another way that is power not weakness. Go another way that is peace and stress. Don’t go back to Herod. Don’t go back to where you were. Go another way. I am not going back. I am not going to be the same. Turn away from the spirit of Herod and Go another way!