MOMENTS THAT MATTER - Mourning the innocent

Romans 8:28 | And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

Jeremiah 31:15 | This is what the Lord says: “A cry is heard in Ramah— deep anguish and bitter weeping. Rachel weeps for her children, refusing to be comforted— for her children are gone.”

Matthew 2:1-8 | Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.” King Herod was deeply disturbed when he heard this, as was everyone in Jerusalem. He called a meeting of the leading priests and teachers of religious law and asked, “Where is the Messiah supposed to be born?” “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they said, “for this is what the prophet wrote: ‘And you, O Bethlehem in the land of Judah, are not least among the ruling cities of Judah for a ruler will come from you  who will be the shepherd for my people Israel.’”  Then Herod called for a private meeting with the wise men, and he learned from them the time when the star first appeared. Then he told them, “Go to Bethlehem and search carefully for the child. And when you find him, come back and tell me so that I can go and worship him, too!”

Matthew 2:12 | When it was time to leave, [the wise men] returned to their own country by another route, for God had warned them in a dream not to return to Herod.

Matthew 2:16-18 | 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.”

  1. Why was Herod so upset that the Promised Savior may have arrived?
  2. What action did Herod take? What was he hoping would happen?
  3. How did Herod’s actions fulfill what was foretold in Jeremiah?
  4. In what ways do you see God at work in the twelve verses from Matthew 2 in today’s reading? How do God’s actions here show that protecting Jesus (because He is the Promised Savior) was important to God?
  5. What location did we learn about last week that is linked to this part of Jesus’ early childhood?
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