God Is In Control

December is one of my favorite months of the year, because it’s when we recognize and celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. But Jesus is not only the son of Mary, He is the King of Glory! Please go with me, back over thousands of years, even before Bethlehem’s manger.

Matthew 2 tells us, "...there came wise men from the east...". In the Greek, “wise men” comes from the word “Magi”. Magi was the name of a certain tribe of people who were the priestly line from among the Medes. The Medes made up the second of four major world empires in human history: the Babylonian Empire, the Medo-Persian Empire, the Grecian Empire and the Roman Empire.

The Old Testament, as well as history, bears out that the Magi were present throughout each of these four empires over hundreds of years. They were very skilled in astronomy and had a great obsession with astrology. In fact, because they were into predictions and star gazing, the name Magi is where we get our word “magician”.

During the first Babylonian Empire, the Magi were very heavily influenced by the Jews. Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, took Judah into captivity as Jeremiah had prophesied. Dwelling in Babylon at the time of the Jewish captivity were also the Magi, who were very high-ranking officials due to their amazing wisdom and knowledge. And because they had come into contact with Jews at this time, especially influential ones like Daniel, the Magi became familiar with Jewish prophecy regarding the Messiah.

When the Greek and Roman empires were in power, the Magi were the key people in the eastern governments. The Magi rose to a place of tremendous political power by virtue of their very unique priestly function, occult powers of predicting, and knowledge of astrology and astronomy. During the four world empires, they served in a powerfully influential capacity as advisors to the eastern kings. This is where they earned the reputation of being “wise men”. They were the ones who were consulted when the ruling kings, nobles, and princes wanted understanding.

Kings, starting with Nebuchadnezzar, had elevated the Magi to the place of being the official advisors to the king. Even when Babylon fell to the Medo-Persian Empire, great rulers like Darius the Great and Cyrus still chose their high-ranking officials from among this group called the Magi. They were unmatched in political power as we find even more clearly in the book of Daniel. In Daniel 2, when King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream, he called on his Magi to interpret his dream. But they couldn’t find the meaning. So, Daniel steps forward and is able to interpret the King’s dream. Daniel was so good at interpreting the dreams of the king that he was made the chief over all of the Magi.

We know that Daniel was a man of God who was totally devoted to worship and the expression of his faith because he wound up in a den of lions for it. And there's no question that Daniel would sit down with these very wise men, these Magi, and begin to share with them knowledge of the Old Testament and their copies of the Scripture.

So, the Wise Men of the East would have been very familiar with Jewish prophecy concerning the Messiah. No doubt they heard from the old books of Moses, Numbers 24:17 – “there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel.”

The Magi were so powerful that historians tell us that no Persian was ever able to become king except under two conditions:

  1. He had to master the scientific and religious discipline of the Magi, and
  2. He had to be approved of and crowned by the Magi.

They literally rose to such power that they controlled who could be king! Esther 1:13 implies that the royal bench of judges was chosen from the Magi. By this kind of leverage, the Magi of the massive Medo-Persian Empire were able to control essentially the entire known world of the East. The Magi were also responsible for the selection of judges. No one ruled at all without the blessing of these King Makers.

I want you to notice something very powerful. As Daniel was chosen to become chief of the Magi when he demonstrated his superior ability in interpreting dreams, God was orchestrating a plan. By "divine orchestration", God placed a Hebrew prophet by the name of Daniel to rule the Magi 600 years before Jesus was born.

Even though they were men of heathenistic practices, God had Daniel teach them the truth concerning the Messiah so that they would pass it down for 600 years until Jesus was born in Bethlehem. And 600 years later, in that little, obscure village of Bethlehem, God robed himself in flesh and was born of a virgin and was laid in a manger.

And God said I am going to have the most influential, wisest men on earth –  the Magi, the king-makers, the ones who crowned the kings of the east during four empires – they’re going to see my star, they’re going to know the prophecy, and they’re going to come and crown me king of kings and Lord of Lords.

Ladies and Gentlemen…That’s How Powerful our God is! God doesn’t fulfill history, God creates history.

As Mary and Joseph look around, surrounded by small animals in a barn, perhaps they question themselves and question whether God was really in this or not. But somewhere on the eastern horizon arose the dust of God’s providential miracle. 

Because of the high position and lofty authority of the Wise Men, they were no doubt traveling in full force with all their oriental pomp, wearing flowing robes and riding Persian steeds. And accompanying them, historians estimate, were a thousand mounted Persian cavalrymen. Perhaps that’s why when they came charging into the city of Jerusalem and Herod peeked out of his little palace window, the Bible says that he was “troubled”.

And when the Magi ultimately met up with Mary, Joseph and Jesus, it was a very powerful spiritual moment, for when they saw Jesus, they bowed down and began to worship Him. Mary and Joseph immediately knew who they were. These were the Wise Men, these were Magi, these were King-Makers! Can you imagine how they must have felt when they realized that God’s plan was still being carried out after all! God had been setting the stage for this glorious night from the beginning of time. If Mary and Joseph didn’t say it aloud, they certainly thought it, “God is still in control”.

Rev 19:16 says, “And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS”.

 He is still King of Kings! He is still orchestrating His plan in your life. Today, you’ve got the same miracle that the Wise Men as well as Mary and Joseph had working in their lives…for today, in your life, God is still in control! He is still King of Kings! He is still orchestrating His plan in your life. Today, you’ve got the same miracle that the Wise Men as well as Mary and Joseph had working in their lives…for today, in your life, God is still in control!