Ehud slowly mounted his camel. He shook his head. “Looks like another cloudy night! How are we going to find the King of the Israelites, if we can’t see His star?
The sunset was beautiful–shades of yellow, orange, and red–as the last of the sun’s rays reflected off the cloud-filled sky. “This is the fifth night in a row, that we have not been able to see the stars,” complained Elah.
“We were so amazed when we first spotted this maverick star in the night sky. It stood out from all the rest. Searching the ancient manuscripts we were excited to find out that such a star predicted the birth of a King in Israel who would have impact on the known world. The star seemed to beckon to us to follow it, to search out this infant King. But now…” Eloth’s voice reflected the doubt that all of them felt.
“Those first nights of following the star were incredible,” recalled Elah. “The star lit the whole countryside. Our camels had no difficulty traversing the uncharted roads. Now I am not certain that it is even safe to travel. Even the moon’s light is blocked by the clouds.”
“But we have come so far,” Ehud rejoined the discussion. “We are in the land of Israel. We are not far from Jerusalem, the Capitol. I say that we wait to travel until morning, then seek out the present king of the land. If a new king is about to be born, he will certainly know about it. Maybe the new king will be his own son.”
“That sounds like a wonderful idea.” Eloth’s voice reflected his restored hope and enthusiasm.
The three dismounted, unpacked their camels, and waited for morning. It would be good to get a good night’s sleep.
Next morning, as they were saddling up, Eloth began to express his doubts. “In the beginning we were led by the star. It was like God, Himself, was guiding us to His Son. Now we are about to rely on the wisdom of a man. I have an uneasy feeling about this king, Herod. I think we should wait for the star to show up again. Then we would know that we have God’s guidance.”
Elah vehemently disagreed. “Maybe you have all the time in the world to just sit out here in the desert day after day waiting for the sky to clear, but I have work back at home, students to teach, and a wife and family to care for.”
“We have already waited six nights for the sky to clear. Now it is time to use the brains that God gave us to find this new king.” Ehud was clearly also against waiting longer for the star to show.
The two wise men over-ruled Eloth and before the day was out, they all stood before Herod surrounded by all the beautiful trappings of his court. He had sent them out of his throne room while he conferred with the principals of his court. Although none of them had seen the star, some were familiar with the prophecy in Micah 5:2 promising that a king would be born in Bethlehem. On the advice of his court, Herod sent Eloth, Elah and Ehud to Bethlehem to find the king promised in the scripture. They were charged with returning with the information of the Child King’s exact location to Herod, who proportedly intended to worship Him.
It was already night when they left Jerusalem, and, wonder of wonders, there was the star, shining brightly and once again seeming to lead the way. Before the night was out, they found the unpretentious house flooded with an unearthly light. Reverently they knelt before the infant. Each man felt in his innermost being God’s pleasure rewarding his diligence in seeking His Son. It was an unforgettable, life changing experience–one that they would never forget.
The light of day found them on the outskirts of Bethlehem with another decision on their hands. Should they report to Herod all they had seen and experienced, or return home another way? Eloth, who had never wanted to meet this Herod in the first place, was against returning to reveal the location of the Christ-Child. This time Elah agreed with him. He was still eager to get back to his family and his students as quickly as possible.
It was Ehud who wanted to return to Herod. “It is not our business what Herod does with the information that we gave him. We promised! That settles it! We must report to Herod. After all Herod did help us by giving us the name of the town where the Child King was.”
However, Ehud’s camel was lame so they had to seek out someone in the town, who could attend to the camel’s foot. They spent another night in Bethlehem.
The next morning when they awoke, each man announced that he had received a troubling dream. “I saw Herod with a sword, and an evil grin on his face,” reported Eloth.
“I saw Herod placing swords in the hands of twenty soldiers,” reported Elah.
“I saw decapitated babies lying on the ground,” exclaimed Ehud. “It was terrible!”
“I don’t know what all this means, but I change my vote, to returning without a second visit to Herod,” urged Ehud. They mounted, and urged their mounts to move quickly down the road away from Jerusalem.
These three men, who were wise enough to seek out God’s son, were also wise enough to listen to God, and He was able to spare His Son from the jealous wrath of King Herod.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5,6 NIV