Bible Reading: Matthew 2:13-18
Recently we heard of a terrible attack at a school where over one hundred and thirty pupils and their teachers died. There are also reports of thousands of children who have been abused, many of them permanently damaged, and particularly by pedophiles. It is so necessary and yet so sad that anyone coming in contact with children today has to go through important safety checks in order to protect the children.
When Jesus was born there was a jealous king who decided to kill children who might be a threat to his position. King Herod was a ruthless man who murdered his own wife, as well as several sons and other relatives. He planned what is now known as the “Massacre of the Innocents,” when all male children, from the district of Bethlehem and under two years of age were killed. Amazing that children were killed in an attempt to destroy Jesus, the one who came to set His people free.
Another king, motivated by fear, wanted to destroy all the male children in his land. The Israelites were multiplying in Egypt and Pharaoh feared that they were becoming too strong. He commanded the midwives to kill all male children at birth, but because they refused to do so he had all those boys drowned in the River Nile. Pharaoh may not have realized that what he was doing was spiritually significant, because God was raising up a man whom He would use to set His people free. As with Jesus, the life of Moses was supernaturally preserved.
Is there a pattern here? Before Moses, who God would use to deliver His people, there would be an attack on the children. Before Jesus, who God would use to bring salvation and freedom, there would be an attack on the children. Are we now seeing an attack on children, yet again, before a major event in world history – the second coming of Jesus?
Some of the strongest words that Jesus ever spoke were in the context of the children. When the children were brought to Him Jesus blessed them and said that the kingdom of God belongs to such as these, but a terrible punishment would be handed out to those people who hurt children [Matthew 18:1-9]
A Question or two:
Sometimes people blame God for bad things that happen. Was God to be blamed for what happened to the Jewish children in Egypt or the innocent children of Bethlehem? Whose fault was it and what was the reason for what they did? How should this be a warning to us?