Raise the Temperature
Top Music Videos
Rachel weeps for her children (v.18).
Few things seem more out of place than the appalling
account of Herod’s slaughter of the innocents
(Matthew 2:16). Why would a loving God permit
a tyrant’s massacre of children to stain the beauty and
poignancy of the Christmas story?
Matthew recounts in stark simplicity: “[Herod] sent
soldiers to kill all the boys in and around Bethlehem
who were two years old and under” (Matthew 2:16).
The subsequent “explanation” does little to satisfy our
longing for justice: “Herod’s brutal action fulfilled what
God had spoken through the prophet Jeremiah” (v.17).
The wail of ancient, anguished poetry echoes eerily in
our souls: “Rachel weeps for her children, refusing to be
comforted, for they are dead” (v.18).
That lament evokes a larger question. Humanity is
violated by such acts, and something in us yearns to say:
Hey, God, You’re God, for heaven’s sake! Why did You
let this happen? It wasn’t fair to permit an evil despot to
snatch the baby boys from Bethlehem’s mothers while
Your Son escaped to Egypt.
But God’s Son didn’t escape. He came to die. Decades
after His birth, this Innocent—“the Lamb of God who
takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29)—was
Himself slaughtered. The apostle Paul declares that God
“did not spare even His own Son but gave Him up for us
all” (Romans 8:32).
There’s no satisfying explanation for atrocities. We will, however, find
satisfaction and fulfillment in this: “God sent His Son into the world not to judge
the world, but to save the world through Him” (John 3:17).
Meanwhile, we find solace in the fact that Jesus loves children infinitely more
than the enemy hates them. The innocents await justice. We can trust the Just
One to see to it.
What similarities do you find in the Exodus account of the birth
of Moses and the birth of Jesus? (Exodus 1:15).
What feelings are stirred up in you when you learn of injustice or atrocities?
Do you ignore or avoid them? Become enraged? How does God want
you to react?
- Raise the Temperature - ...read more
- Always There - Do you believe that the Lord is always with you?...read more
- Seasons of Grief - Are you going through a season of grief where you are struggling to grieve?...read more
- John's Question - What steps can you take to seek God’s perspective in a current challenging situation?...read more
- Victory - What battles are you facing these days?...read more
- Starting Over - Have you experienced a fresh start in Jesus?...read more
- Genuine Love - How have you experienced the reality of God’s love?...read more
- Straight Up - Is there a current situation in your life where you’ve been less than honest?...read more
- He Saw Something - Have you seen something so true that you would be willing to live or die for it?...read more
- Higher Law, Higher Love - What choice of conscience faces you today?...read more
- Stay or Run Away - How might God want you to display His glory in your life?...read more
- Jealousy and Generosity - To help His followers understand what the kingdom of heaven is like and the dangers of comparison obsession, Jesus told a parable about a landowner who hired workers to tend his vineyard....read more
- On the Fringe - Who sits alone at church that you can befriend?...read more
- Taming Anger - Think back to a time when you lashed out in anger, or when someone lashed out at you....read more
- Full of Joy - How can you tap into God’s joy more fully?...read more
- Mistaken vs. Hard Hearts - How have you experienced a hard heart toward God in your relationship with Him?...read more