“[King] Herod was furious when he realized that the wise men had outwitted him. He sent soldiers to kill all the boys in and around Bethlehem who were two years old and under, based on the wise men’s report of the star’s first appearance. Herod’s brutal action fulfilled what God had spoken through the prophet Jeremiah: ‘A cry was heard in Ramah – weeping and great mourning. Rachel weeps for her children, refusing to be comforted, for they are dead’” (Matthew 2:16-18, NLT).
Evil is real. The Bible explains that ever since Adam and Eve disobeyed God and sin entered the world, people have been born sinners; thus, doing what is wrong come naturally. We tend to look out for ourselves and our own interests first. Taken to extreme, self-centeredness leads to every imaginable evil act. History documents the terrible acts of the evil king Herod, especially concerning potential rivals to the throne. In his later years, Herod had three of his sons killed as well as his wife and many actual or suspected conspirators. Herod didn’t hesitate to spill blood to secure his power. Obsessed with himself, he felt threatened by a helpless baby who might one day become king. After all, the wise men said, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him” (Matthew 2:2).
Bethlehem was only a few miles from Jerusalem. Herod expected the wise men to return to him after finding the child they sought. When he learned they had gone home without reporting the location of the child, Herod took out his anger on innocent children. [When Emperor Augustus heard that among the boys under two years old whom Herod had ordered killed, his own son was also killed, he said: “It is better to be Herod's pig, than his son!”].
We may question how God could permit such terrible atrocities, even as he allowed Jesus to escape. But Matthew, the gospel writer, a Jew, knew all too well that the history of God’s people was littered with evil acts against them. The Messiah’s arrival caused Satan to unleash an arsenal of evil, in this instance using Herod. Satan, throughout history, have tried (and still trying) to eliminate God’s people – the Jews – from the face of the earth. Satan know that it is from the Jews that the Messiah would come. In the past, through Pharaoh of Egypt, Satan tried systematically to murder every Jewish male baby but Moses survived; through Haman, Persian Empire officer, Satan tried to destroy, kill and annihilate all the Jews but God called Queen Esther and Mordechai to rescued their people; through King Saul, Satan tried to kill David because he know that the Messiah would come from the line of David but he failed; through wicked Queen Athaliah, the daughter of the notorious King Ahab and Queen Jezebel, Satan plotted the killing of her own grandchildren and anyone that belong to the line of David to secure the throne but baby Joash, the only remaining direct link to the kingly Davidic line, was rescued and hidden in the Temple; through Adolf Hitler, Stalin, etc. Satan failed all the time! God win! Killing Jesus? Yeah, right... Jesus rose from the grave!
Think about this: Today, Satan is working overtime to thwart God’s plan. But don’t worry! Jesus told his disciples and us to pray “rescue us from the evil one” (Matthew 6:13) and thus, we need to pray for God’s continued protection and guidance. In Christ, God have a beautiful plan for each one of us. Like how God continue to protect His people, the Jews, (even sometime they behave very badly) God still keep His promise because He is faithful. Like how God accomplished His plan through His Son, Jesus Christ, who would be the King of the Jews, the Messiah, the Saviour of the world, God will always win over Satan’s plot and Herod’s brutal action. Like all of these and more, you can trust in Him. Why? Because in the end, God will always, ALWAYS WIN!
THINK BIG. START SMALL. GO DEEP.