Read Matthew 2:1-18
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times” (Micah 5:2).
I want to believe that when Jesus came, things got better everywhere He went. But for Bethelehem, at least at first, things only got worse. Way worse.
“A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more” (Jer. 31:15).
From the time David, the youngest and least likely of Jesse’s sons, was anointed Israel’s king, God had used this tiny town to display His upside-down-to-us ways and reveal His hand unexpectedly.
“Do not look at his appearance or his stature, because I have rejected him. Man does not see what the LORD sees, for man sees what is visible, but the LORD sees the heart” (1 Sam. 16:7).
Still, I will never understand (at least not this side of eternity) why God saw fit to allow such horror in that place after Jesus stepped in. When Herod issued the orders for every baby boy in the region of Jesus’ birthplace to be murdered and all those mothers mourned and weeped and the reality of death and the need for a Savior became clearer than ever, I can’t help but question why that teeny tiny town in Judah didn’t find immediate reprieve from utter despair.
It’s a question for the ages, really. Why God lets bad things happen. A question we could probably argue for the rest of the ages as well. One that you and I will likely never resolve.
But here’s what we can know:
- God is almighty and good. That’s why Jesus stepped in.
- Mankind, without clinging to the rescue of Jesus Christ, is lost in darkness and is held captive by sin and self.
- Herod chose to cling to the darkness of his sin and pride rather than trusting the freedom Jesus Christ came to give.
You see, when Jesus stepped in, He brought life and light and a way to really live. But every one of us has to choose to trust Him. When we do, we find true peace even in terrible circumstances.