“But thou, Beth-lehem, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel” (Micah 5: 2).
“And behold, there shall a new star arise, such an one as ye never have beheld; and this also shall be a sign unto you” (Helaman 14: 5).
“When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet” (Matt. 2: 3-5).
To maintain the power of his throne, Herod sought to kill the child who would be “ruler in Israel.” But the king cloaked his treacherous intent against Baby Jesus by feigning a desire to worship the Child; the king directed the magi to return and tell of the Infant’s location.
“Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also” (Matt 2: 7, 8).
The wise men proceeded to follow the star that led them to a lowly manger; but being warned of God in a dream, the magi knew to dismiss Herod’s sinister request.
“When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh” (Matt 2: 9-11).
Truth becomes evident as efforts of evil seek to destroy that which is good; so it is today. Some souls rejoice at the sight of His star and humbly seek to follow the Light that leads to worship the Babe of Bethlehem; while others fight against His goodness with malicious motives akin to king Herod, who sought to slay the Holy Child. The immense irony of such contrary efforts is expressed in a Mormon Hymn:
No creature is so lowly, No sinner so depraved,
But feels thy presence holy, And thru thy love is saved.
Tho craven friends betray thee, They feel thy love’s embrace;
The very foes who slay thee Have access to thy grace.
Those who truly adore the Son of God will come unto Him, bearing the gift that is most pleasing in His sight, the gift of love: returning good in the face of evil–following in the steps of the Prince of Peace, Jesus of Nazareth–the Babe of Bethlehem. Oh Come Let Us Adore Him, Christ, the Lord.