In the accounts of the birth of Christ, we find an obvious influence of the devil, in the affairs of men, to oppose the coming of Christ. Look at these evidences of the devil’s opposition.
Caesar’s world tax – Lk 2:1-3. This raiser of taxes is typified in Dan 11:20-22 and is connected with the antichrist. In those days, there were people who could make a good case against this tax and who revolted against it, Acts 5:37. Do you know what Joseph did? He just took his very pregnant wife down to Bethlehem and paid the tax.
As some preachers have said, this is not what you do with a woman who is about ready to give birth, unless you want to risk the baby’s life. Yet, Joseph didn’t join the revolt, excuse himself on the grounds that his wife was about to give birth to the Saviour of the world, or oppose the tax, he just went. While the devil was evidently behind the taxation, the Lord used this move to fulfill his prophecy. Joseph and Mary lived in Nazareth, Lk 2:4, but Jesus was to be born in Bethlehem, Matt 2:4-6. The Lord used the tax to move them.
Bible believers can see the devil’s influence in the affairs of men today. Just like the devil’s influence before and during the birth of Christ, he is opposing the return of Christ. And Bible believers can make excellent observations about the devil’s opposition. Indeed, many Bible believers are even standing against these things based on their beliefs and convictions. Yet, can you see what the Lord is doing through all of this? You’ll make a mistake to get wrapped up in what the devil is doing, if the distractions are causing you to miss what the Lord is doing.
Joseph didn’t get side-tracked by the taxation. He submitted to the ordinance of man, like Peter told us to do, 1 Pet 2:13, and God used his submission to fulfill his prophecy.
Herod’s attempt to kill Jesus – Matt 2:13-14. Herod pretended that he would worship Jesus after the wise men found him, Matt 2:8. However, his intention was to locate the baby so that he could kill him. To escape this attempt on Jesus’s life, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph and told him to flee with his family to Egypt. And so he did.
You know, when the Lord knows something about the affairs of men that are contrary to his will, he lets you know in scripture and by the leading of the Holy Ghost what he wants you to do. This is how Peter was able to say to the Pharisees, “We ought to obey God rather than men”, Acts 5:29.
So, here the devil is using the power of the ruler to try to kill Jesus. And God intervened. But you can’t miss this important fact. God knew that this would happen. Hosea prophesied what God would do over 800 years before it happened, Matt 2:15.
Bible believers need to be very careful about pinpointing the government actions and world events that are so seemingly contrary to God. God has known, since before the beginning of time, what the devil would be up to and what the world would do in opposition to God’s plan. Don’t get all consumed with what the world and the devil are doing. Look for what God said he would be doing, even through what they are doing.
Herod’s slaughter of the children – Matt 2:16. Still trying to kill Jesus, Herod slaughtered all the children in Bethlehem from two years old and under. Since he didn’t know which baby was Jesus, he just killed them all. And once again, God knew what would happen long before it occurred, Matt 2:18.
If you were alive then, you could have fussed and raised cain about the horrible injustice to children. But you would have gotten no where with your campaign. God already knew what would happen and it happened. As Bible believers, we must be very careful to look in scripture for prophecies that explain what’s going on around us. Don’t waste your time condemning what’s going on, because you aren’t going to change it.
Conclusion: these are just three accounts recorded in Scripture of things that the world and the devil were doing to oppose Christ’s birth. God already knew what they would do and had even recorded three prophecies in Scripture to let you know that he was one step ahead of the opposition.
Today, you can see the devil at work in world affairs to oppose God’s people and the second coming of Christ. Don’t waste your time looking at and commenting on what the opposition is doing. Go to the Scripture and find out what God is doing.
Right now, many Bible believers can tell you a lot more about what the world is doing with technology to bring about the mark of the beast, the one world government, the destruction of Israel, and so forth, than they can tell you about what God is doing at this very time. Quit criticizing the world’s plan and start magnifying God’s plan.