Herod • Devotion #5: Collateral Damage
Tommy Youngquist| Children’s Pastor
“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 form 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
Oh Snap! Here we go with another prophecy in the Old Testament being fulfilled. Imagine the scene. Jesus had just been born. You know, the King of Kings. So naturally the king of those days (Herod) gets a little peanut butter and jealous. Herod wants Jesus dead. So, he sets up a plan to try and make it happen. Herod tries to manipulate the “We three kings of Orient are, Bearing gifts we traverse afar” into finding Jesus and telling him where He is. Plan fails! Herod gets super mad that his evil plot did not work so he makes a decree to kill all male babies under two. Do you remember Moses and Pharaoh? What is it with these crazy kings wanting to kill babies? Anyways, an angel of the Lord had told Joseph to go to Egypt before the decree came out so baby Jesus was safe. Phew!
The first question I would like to pose to you is: How would you react if you were a parent of one of those “under two year olds” that was murdered by Herod’s decree? What if your child was collateral damage in this scenario? When Jeremiah’s prophecy is fulfilled, the Bible tells us how Rachel reacted. She “wept for her children; she refused to be comforted, because they are no more.”
I am a parent now. The love that I feel for my daughter is unexplainable. I could not imagine being Rachel and losing her children, not child, children. I believe she got very angry and bitter at God for what happened. Look at everything from her point of view. Her children died because of a king that wanted Jesus dead.
The second question I would like to ask you is: Do you blame God for the bad things that happen in your life? God gave us free will. Personally, I am very thankful for the right to choose. Along with free will though, comes consequences for your choices. Good consequences for good decisions and bad consequences for bad decisions. In Genesis, one man made a bad decision and the consequence was this icky thing called sin that was passed to all of humanity. But we need to get real, if it was not Adam it would have been someone else, and for sure me.
I hate sin! I believe it is the reason bad things happen in this world. It is not God’s fault for letting us choose. How could we truly love someone that made us love Him. We can choose God or not choose God. What about you? Are you going to blame sin and learn to hate it for the bad things that happen in this world? Are you going to choose God and trust that He is almighty, loving, and faithful? Do you realize He has a plan for you even when bad things happen? God created a way for us to defeat sin when Jesus was born, lived, died, and rose for us. Do not be sin’s collateral damage.