Notice that Joseph got up and left in the middle of the night with Mary and Jesus. The trip from Bethlehem
to Egypt was a long trip. It would have been about 75 miles (120.7 Km) from Bethlehem to the border of Egypt.
According to Philo, the distance from the border of Egypt to the Jewish settlement within the country was about
100 miles (160.9 Km). This means that their trip would have taken several weeks to complete, and it would not
have been an easy journey.
How many of us would have been so eager to do God’s will that we would have gotten up in the middle
of the night and left for Egypt? That is a good question to think about. We are usually eager to obey when
it is something we want.
But the opportunity to do God’s will occurs every day. It is not a once for all event
that occurs only in our youth and not again. God has a desire or “a will” for each one of us that
changes with time. The question is, “Do you really want to know and follow?” The magi did and Joseph
As we have already read, the angel of the Lord told Joseph why he had to take the trip. God
does not always say why He wants us to do certain things. This time Joseph was told to remain until King Herod
was dead because Herod wanted to kill Jesus. Joseph was to remain in Egypt until he was told to leave. That
would have been hard for most of us to follow. We want to plan our lives. We want direction, but God said to
wait until He tells us to leave!
Did Mary enjoy the uncertainty of their visit in Egypt? Did it make sense for her to get involved
in the activities at the synagogue? Why should she spend time knowing her neighbors when she might leave tomorrow?
If they stayed a long time, then she would have other options. In short, life was uncertain and all that
God said through the angel of the Lord was, “. . . remain there until I tell you . . .”