Weeping For The Children
As I read through Matthew chapter 2 this morning, I am reminded of the loss, of the weeping for my own children.
Herod was a wicked ruler. The Magi travel to the land of Herod asking a question; “where is he who has been born king?” They are not looking for a baby who would one day become king. They are looking for a baby who was born king.
This offended Herod. He convinces the Magi to let him know when and where they find this king because he wants to worship as well. Herod doesn’t even send along soldiers to make sure the Magi return. In the end, God himself needs to break in and inform the Magi in a dream not to return and tell Herod. This indicates the Magi had not picked up on Herod’s deception.
Herod is so mad that he orders all the male children 2 years and younger to be murdered. The commentaries I read say that the Jews were very low in number at this time. They estimate that a dozen or so boys would have been killed during this execution. Matthew indicates by his reference to Jeremiah that the mothers in Bethlehem were so very sad by the loss of their precious children. They wept loudly and refused to be comforted.
I know the loss of children. Two years ago today we found out our baby boy Justice had died in my wife’s womb. One year ago yesterday, we found out our baby girl Mercy had trisomy 13. We have had many times of loud weeping over the past two years. We have had times when we refused to be comforted. But we have hope!
We have hope because the King was born in Bethlehem! The dozen or so boys whose lives were sacrificed for the King, have indeed been brought to eternal bliss and joy because of the King’s sacrifice for them. Their lives were an offering. Their lives came as a result of sin. The King life was the ultimate offering. The King came as a result of sin. The ladies who lost their boys 2000 years ago refused to be comforted. It is hard during times of loss to look beyond the immediate pain to eternal hope and joy. But that is exactly what we must do in times of loss. Because the King came, we have hope! Because the King came, our weeping and loud lamentations can be turned to worship and adoration for the One who fled to Nazareth.