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Pearls of Grace - December 23

  • 2020 Dec 23

December 23

The Other Wiseman

"Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him."

Matthew 2:2

One of my favorite stories, The Other Wiseman, tells us that, Artaban seeing the star in its rising bowed his head and said, "It is the sign, the king is coming and I will go to meet him." Without hesitation he sold his richly furnished home in Persia that he might purchase three of the most magnificent jewels he could buy; a sapphire, a ruby, and a pearl. These gifts had to be worthy of a King, a King like none other for he was from the very throne of Jehovah himself. Hundreds of years they had been waiting for his arrival, and now He had come. Though none would go with him, he mounted his spirited horse, Baada, and headed westward along Mount Orontes’s brown slopes, across the plains of the Niseans and the fertile fields of Concabar, over the desolate mountain pass, through many an ancient city to come at last to the meeting place of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers.

It was here that he was to rendezvous with the other three magi who were also going to worship the King. Nearing this meeting place he came upon a poor Hebrew exile lying across the road, dying of a deadly fever. Artaban grew impatient as the fingers of the man kept holding on to the hem of his robe to detain him. If he stayed to give a cup of water to the Hebrew, he would miss his companions. But moved with love, he ministered healing herbs. Hours later the man recovered. The Jew blessed him in the name of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and told him that the King he sought would be found in Bethlehem of Judea.

Leaving the last of his food with the man, Artaban hastened to the meeting place of his companions only to find a parchment under a pile of stones stating that they could delay no longer and that he should follow them across the desert. Artaban was forced to return to Babylon to sell his sapphire and buy a train of camels and provisions for crossing the desert. It was a dreary passage for one to take across the sea of sand alone. But he pressed onward, looking upward into the night sky saying, "the King is coming and I will go to meet Him." He moved steadily until he came to Bethlehem, weary but hopeful of presenting his ruby and pearl to the King. But he found the city gripped in fear. The other Magi had left in haste after their visit to Joseph and Mary. In the dead of night, Joseph had fled with the child and his mother to Egypt.

Artaban was welcomed in the home of a young mother with a small child. But suddenly the village erupted with the sound of soldier’s clashing swords and the shrieks of mothers whose children were being slaughtered. A band of soldiers forced their way into the home of the young mother grabbing up the young child to slay it. The mother fell at the feet of Artaban begging him to do something to save her only child. Artaban, moved with compassion was compelled to offer his prized ruby to the captain as a bribe to spare the child’s life. The young mother blessed Artaban in the name of the Lord.

Now, left with only one gift to give to his beloved King, Artaban set out to find Him. He journeyed to Egypt taking counsel with the Hebrew Rabbi who told him that the King he sought would be a man of sorrow, and that those who seek Him will find Him among the poor and the lowly. So Artaban, relentless to find the Messiah, frequented the homes of the lonely and the needy. He fed the hungry, clothed the naked, ministered to the sick, and comforted the captives. Thirty-three years passed by and now, weary, hair whitened, eyes dull, but still seeking his beloved King of glory, this pilgrim came for the last time to Jerusalem. It was the season of the Passover and Artaban had been told that Jesus of Nazareth was to be crucified along with two thieves because, He claimed to be the King of the Jews.

Hearing this news, Artaban clasped his pearl tightly to his chest as he followed the crowd. He would ransom the King with his priceless jewel. But at the gate of the city a young girl flung herself at his feet, crying for mercy. She had been seized by rough soldiers intent on selling her into slavery to pay for her dead father’s debts. Artaban experienced great conflict of soul, but at last love, the light of the soul, triumphed and he ransomed the girl with his pearl. Suddenly the sun darkened and the earth shook causing the soldiers to flee in terror. A heavy tile was shaken loose from a nearby house and struck Artaban on the temple. The blow was fatal, and as he was dying, the girl heard a gentle voice speaking to the stricken Wiseman. Artaban answered, "Not so, my Lord; for when did I see Thee hungry and fed Thee? Or thirsty and gave Thee drink? When did I see Thee a stranger, and took Thee in, or naked and clothed thee? When did I see Thee sick or in prison, and came unto Thee? I looked for Thee, but never have I seen Thy face or ministered to Thee, my King."

The same beautiful voice assured him that inasmuch as he had done it unto the least of His brethren, he had done it unto Him, the King. Joy and wonder radiated upon the face of the other wisemen for his journey was at an end. His treasures had been accepted. He had found the King! What treasures of service have you offered up to your King? The greatest worship we can offer up our King is a life that reflects Who He is. Will you worship your King today, beloved?

The king has come, I will go and worship Him.

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Pearls of Grace is a book of devotions for the entire year, including a read through the Bible in a year calendar, broken down for every day. Beautifully written with encouraging words of hope and empowering words of joy and strength for every woman. Pam draws from the truth and richness of God's Word and gives real life examples in her down to earth style. A must have in your library, click here for more information.

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