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Lesson # Matthew 2:16-18
Study Material - Matthew 2:16-18
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16 Then when Herod saw that he had been tricked by the magi, he became very enraged, and sent and slew all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its environs, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had ascertained from the magi. 17 Then that which was spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled, saying, 18 'A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning,
Rachel weeping for her children; And she refused to be comforted, Because they were no more.'
Arrogant people feel they have been cheated, tricked. They are self centered and think only of their lost opportunity regardless of the hurt that might be inflicted on others. Herod did not know the location or the identity of Jesus, yet he slaughtered all male children under the age of two. Herod was 70 + years old, and a two year old would not give him any competition on his throne. Wicked people are subjective, illogical, emotional, and overly cruel.
Never underestimate the power of the sin nature. Though it may seem harmless to those who are more righteous and less inclined to violence, all paths of the sin nature lead to eventual destruction. Where would Herod find those who would do such a destructive thing. To actually go out and kill innocent children that pose absolutely no threat to the nation or to Herod. Wicked people seem to find others who are equally wicked to do their evil deeds.
Ecc. 7:17, don't be overly wicked, but Herod killed not only the children in Bethlehem, but also those in an even greater area. Herod thought he alone had outsmarted the prophets, the Old Testament scriptures, the star, the prophecies, by ridding the world of the Son of God, the King of the Jews, the Crowned Prince. Wicked people use an atom bomb to swat the fly. They go overboard so as to insure their own success. Yet they generally never realize their failure. Herod would die soon, never knowing until after his death, that he had failed. Wicked people use the sword as their weapon, but also the tongue. For gossip is an equally wicked weapon. They care not for those whom they seek to destroy. They think it is their duty in their arrogance to rid the world of their intended victim. So in their wicked pursuit, they go overboard, they exaggerate. They take what ever steps they deem necessary, even in lies, in order to accomplish their intentions.
Wicked people become 'without' conscience. Herod had killed before, even in killing his own sons prior to this. He had become callous to the hurt of others. The laws of the time forbade the killing of pigs, swine, which Herod observed, yet in the instance of people he cared not for the law. Wicked people are selective as to the rules and priorities they follow. They would sacrifice their own to gain their selfish desires, never considering the error of their ways. Evil people are all who reject, or ignore Gods Word. And all who stand against God either by outright rejection, unbelief, or simple apathy, are potentially wicked people. They have no control over their own thoughts, as they are under the control of their own sin nature and therefore enslaved to it. Their own thoughts drive them to lower and lower degrees of degeneracy. So Herod had dropped to the lowest level, attacking God directly.
He did not even send out people to ascertain the whereabouts of Christ, but allowed his emotions and anger to rage into an emotional decision. He had power and authority and abused them both. The people he ruled became the victims of his random rage.
Jer. 31:15, out of Ramah came weeping, because the children were no more. From Bethlehem to Ramah was the killing done. Rachel was buried near Bethlehem, Gen. 35:16-19. She had just given birth to her son named Benjamin. After this the stage was set for the pattern of the attack on Christ and the geographical area for the destruction of the children from Judah to Benjamin. All along its border. So prophecy strikes at the core of the location and gives credibility to the accounts of the Bible from a time almost 2000 years before. Is the Bible just a story book? Or perhaps some truthful story with interesting historical points?
Did Christ come to bring peace and love into this world, as many try to promote in their advertisements? No. Matt. 10:34, Jesus did not come to bring peace, but the sword. Jesus came into this world to prove it unworthy and to save it from itself. The baby Jesus was no threat to any but Satan, yet Satan stood ready with drawn sword to destroy the child. God prevented it by blinding the location and the identity of Jesus.
Bible doctrine is invisible to those who reject it, to those who ignore it. They have their own agenda, their own plans for their lives. And in their foolish arrogance they take pride in their efforts, and give credit to themselves, not realizing their tremendous degree of error.
Do we mourn those who died innocently? Could God not have protected those children from the sword of Herod? Of course. But it would have interfered in the perfect plan for the purpose of Christ and the Cross. 1 Thes. 4:13, those that sleep in physical death will rise again in the end time, so we do not worry about our loved ones, especially those who are young. God will greatly reward them in eternity for whatever their loss they suffered in time.
Human history is a demonstration of mans and Satan's incapability to secure their own future. It is a demonstration that when left to their own devices, man and Satan destroy everything, and promote unfair, and inequitable lives for all, including themselves. The heart of man is deceitful and desperately wicked. Yet in all this, God has still been able to accomplish his plan in every detail, even when he discloses the details centuries before their time. Satan knowing all the details of the Bible, has not been able to prevent any of them.
Today, there are only trends in history. The shaping of the nations for the conclusion of the Age of Israel in the tribulation. We look to the next prophecy which is the rapture, knowing that it could occur at anytime. But so could our own deaths occur at anytime. Knowing of the next events is not our purpose, but knowing Bible doctrine so as to stabilize our daily lives, to prepare us spiritually for eternity, is our objective.
We learn doctrine word by word, line by line, precept by precept. Gleaning from it every principle which should open our eyes as the reality of Gods Word and its power that is a potential in our lives.
We could ignore it as did the people of Christ's day, or we could learn from their mistakes and set our lives on a course with our eyes open to wisdom and understanding.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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