Our two young boys wanted a nativity set, so we got a small one to place in their room. One night my wife went to tuck them in bed, only to find that Liam (age 5) had posted little plastic soldiers to guard the nativity. “They’re making sure baby Jesus is safe,” he announced.

I couldn’t wait to share a pic of his work with some military buddies. “LOL,” one texted back. “Gotta protect those HVAs” (High Value Assets).

Liam’s trust in military strength may be misguided. It was soldiers, after all, who carried out Herod’s heinous command to kill all the baby boys in Bethlehem (Matthew 2:16). But his concern for the child-Messiah melts my heart.

God has some unusual ways of caring for those He loves. With heaven’s armies at His disposal, He chooses surprising methods of leading us out of trouble—or into it.

In the case of baby Jesus, “an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream” and told him to flee into Egypt (Matthew 2:13). Herod’s soldiers couldn’t catch God’s Highest Value Asset. More than 3 decades later, however, there would be no divine escape plan, and Roman soldiers nailed Jesus to a cross. Did the Father love Jesus less when He was grown? To Christ we are High Value Assets! That’s why He went to the cross.

“Put away your sword,” Jesus told the disciple who defended Him on the night He was betrayed. “Don’t you realize that I could ask my Father for thousands of angels to protect us, and he would send them instantly? But if I did, how would the Scriptures be fulfilled?” (Matthew 26:52-54).

“Some nations boast of their chariots and horses, but we boast in the name of the LORD our God” (Psalm 20:7)—the God who sent His Son to die for His HVAs.

NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Ephesians 4:1-16