A retired boxing champion kept a cabin in a remote area. On one long weekend he entertained a cabin full of visitors. His dogs were unsettled by the noise and were kept upstairs all day. After ensuring his guests were settled for the night, he fell into bed. Just as his eyes shut, his dogs whined to be let out.
Tired and reluctant, the man laced on his boots. Once outside, he decided to take a quick walk, for the air was refreshing and the moon was bright. He whistled his dogs to the road he knew so well and saw a raccoon scamper close by.
The two dogs went after it immediately, climbing up the side and into the bushes, barking at the creature that ran just ahead of them. The raccoon was up a tree and no longer exciting before long; but both the man and his dogs had no interest in returning to the road. They made their way to a wide meadow near his neighbor’s cabin, enjoying the smell of the lavender that grew wild, until he twisted his ankle in it.
Wincing, he limped a few steps, trying to walk off the sharp pain that cut with every step. He searched and found a stick that would suffice as a crutch and turned back toward his cabin, calling the dogs to follow. The shorter way back meant a steep incline that caused shooting pain to his injury. Unable to stop when he slipped slightly, he decided to slide the rest of the way on his backside down the incline. His dogs whined above him, uncertain what to do.
He turned and called them, and in so doing lost his balance, tumbling down the steep incline. He heard his leg snap and cried out, embarrassed that for years he had boasted of his great tolerance for pain. Still hurtling forward, he felt his shoulder buckle against a large rock before he was suddenly at a stop. Groaning, he caught his breath and then assessed his injuries. He was in bad shape. He drug himself back up the incline; not trusting the rest of the way down.
The light of his neighbor’s cabin was still on. He was used to being the reliable hero for his neighbor and hated the thought of asking her for help. He tried to navigate toward the road, but his sprained ankle was not easy to hop on. Testing his weight yet again on the broken leg, he yelped in surprised agony. Seconds later the door to the cabin opened.
His neighbor marched outside with a gun in her hand and a flashlight. He was impressed that she was armed. “Who’s there?” she demanded. He groaned, there was no use fighting any further. “It’s me” he answered. His dogs barked and galloped around him, wagging hello to his now surprised and concerned neighbor. She had his wife on the phone within minutes.
Moral of the Story
And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.
When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.2 As they called them, so they went from them: they sacrificed unto Baalim, and burned incense to graven images.
The verse quoted by Matthew struck me as speaking of how Israel acted like a disobedient child. It surprised me that Matthew would associate Jesus with a petulant child like Israel; but I don’t believe that was the intention. I noticed God’s tender feelings for this child, saying “I loved him”, and because of that love the child was called out of Egypt. Jesus stood in the place of sinners as the sacrifice, sacrifice for all those who went away from God the more He called them. Egypt was a place of bondage and sin is definitely a form of bondage.
There is an interesting irony, the child sent from God escaped FROM the land of Israel to Egypt; while Israel (escapees from Egypt) is rescued from sin’s bondage through this same child who came from ‘out of Egypt’. Our rescuer is timeless, setting all free who seek freedom from the mess they made. In this story I sought to depict a rescue and how hard it is to admit you are in need. Having two sprained ankles right now I can fully relate to being helpless and resigned!