By Brooke Holt
“Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah: ‘A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be comforted, because they are no more.’” – Matthew 2:16-18
There was a saying in King Herod’s day that it was safer to be Herod’s pig than his son, implying there was nothing King Herod would not do to preserve his rule and throne. King Herod was considered the puppet king. He was appointed to sit on the throne and thus was not the rightful ruler by birth or pedigree. King Herod killed wives, sons, and anyone else that stood as a threat to his rule.
So just imagine when the wise men brought the news that a baby had been born who was king of the Jews. Fear would strike deep within the puppet king. In his natural fashion, he sought to manipulate and control the wise men by telling them to come back and report where the baby was because he wanted to worship him too. That didn’t work, since the wise men were warned in a dream not to return to Herod. Herod sought to find out all about this coming Messiah through the religious leaders, but of course these corrupted men knew of the prophecies but were clueless as to how to find this Messiah.
In his desperate attempt to control and destroy, King Herod issued the edict that all male babies who were under two years old were to be killed. Can you imagine the shock, anger, and fear that settled among the people of Bethlehem when they heard these words? The arrogance and abuse of power were abundantly clear in this situation. And the loss was significant as families wept for their babies and grieved for those lost. Losing a child to death is painful enough but losing a child due to an insecure cruel man’s vicious edict is an unthinkable loss.
There are the ways of man, and then there are the ways of God. No matter how much man seeks to control his destiny and the destiny of God’s people, he will never outsmart or overpower the Lord. Despite King Herod’s attempt to kill Jesus, the Lord made the way for his Son’s escape to Egypt. Jesus would indeed die at the hands of sinful and arrogant men, but it would be in accordance with the will of his Father.
People today still try to control the will of the Lord, and it is still as futile as it was in the days of King Herod. God’s ways are higher than our ways as his thoughts are always higher than our thoughts (See Isaiah 55:8-9). You can either resist or receive the King of kings and Lord of lords. His rule in your life will change everything as you will no longer be the king of your life and the creator of your destiny. Yet the blessings of receiving his reign and rule will always outweigh the sacrifice. God’s ways are best for you. God’s thoughts about you and for you are so much higher and better than any of your thoughts. May you receive him in his fullness today; may you allow him to sit on the throne of your life; and may you be blessed with the joy of his presence, love, and eternal promises today and forevermore!
Consider the ways in which you resist the will of the Lord in your life and then consider the ways in which he is calling you to surrender and receive from him today. We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
In our six-week small group Bible study on the book of 1 John, you are invited to live and celebrate true life in Christ. Throughout his first letter, John wrestles with the assurance of salvation. How do we know that we are genuine Christians, and how can we recognize authentic faith in others? The Apostle John taught that you can enjoy full assurance through believing in the incarnate Son of God, walking in the light of obedience, and loving God and his children. Embark on this study with us today!
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