16 When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. 17 Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled: 18 “A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.”
So, Herod was furious because the Magi didn’t report back to him with the location of this new king of the Jews. So furious, that he orders the death of all boys in Bethlehem under two years of age. Although Herod was deceived, he had tried to deceive the Magi himself.
It is a tragic story, and possibly we could ask why didn’t God do anything about it? Why did all those boys have to die? Couldn’t the Magi just tell him where Jesus was, but God have Jesus flee in time?
The fact that the weeping was prophesied reminds us that God knew in advance what Herod would do and all that would happen. Nowhere does it say that God’s plans mean there will not be any suffering.
The danger here would be to just focus on the suffering and forget that God’s master plan for the salvation of the world was no longer a prophecy but is now a reality. Emmanuel God with us. This is not an “end justifies the means”, but God has a plan and he will see it through. Our suffering is only for a short time when compared to the Joy in eternity to come.
When we suffer, its tempting and even normal to question God whatever his plans for us are. But we should not lose sight of the fact that God has bigger plans, good plans for each of us and he will see it through for us.
Thank you, Father, for the plans you have for me. Help me to continue to walk each day by faith and not by sight.
Written by Andrew Martin