It was pitch black and there was only one flashlight between the three of us.The path was narrow, so we had to go in single file. Phil went first with the flashlight, then Dave, and I followed. We couldn’t see Phil in the darkness, but we could see the light. So we just followed the light, and before we knew it we were back at camp.
It’s one thing to have the general directions to where you’re going, but it’s quite another thing to have someone lead you to the exact spot. The wise men had gotten the general directions from Herod’s scribes. The child was in Bethlehem – just 5 miles south. But, where in Bethlehem?
Then in Matthew 2:9, the Scripture goes on to say, “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.” It wasn’t guess work any more. They were being guided by a star.
The word “went before” is a compound Greek verb with the preposition “before” attached to the verb, meaning “to lead.” So the idea here is to lead the way by going before. The star led the way by going before them.
Now obviously, for a star to be that exact, it had to be a different kind of star than the ones way up in the sky. Most likely it was an angel from God, or maybe God Himself. Do you remember the story in the Old Testament where God appeared to Israel as a glowing fire? When the glow ascended up from the Holy Pace in the Tabernacle the Israelites knew it was time to break camp and move. Then as a pillar of fire by day and as a glowing cloud by night, God went before them to lead the way. In that way, they knew where to go. They simply followed the light.
Now that’s how we know where to go. Jesus said, “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12). So – just follow Jesus. He will go before you and lead the way.
Say – Sometimes it’s so dark, you can’t see a thing. Well, just keep your eyes on Jesus and follow the light.