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.”
This is the dark part of Christmas. Herod estimates that Jesus is born sometime in the last two years, according to the Magi’s report. So, like brutal leaders today and in every age, he slaughters babies. This horrendous act is commemorated on December 26th. The day is called, “The Slaughter of the Innocent” or “Massacre of the Innocent.”
Why would Herod do this? The clue is given in the Magi’s opening statement. “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews?”
King Herod is presently the king of the Jews, isn’t he? Well, not if the promised Messiah is here. So, like so many absolute rulers, Herod will do anything to hold on to his power. Even kill the one whom he knows God is sending to save his people.
This is the way of the world though isn’t it? When adults do evil, it’s the children who suffer. From the slaughter of war, to the war on children through abortion, the massacre continues. Lord have mercy, we need the Messiah more than ever to save us from ourselves.
What can you do to combat evil toward children?