“Then Herod, when he realized that he had been misled by the wise men, was furiously enraged, and he sent and put to death all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that territory who were two years old and under, reckoning according to the date which he had investigated diligently and had learned exactly from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah: ‘A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be comforted, because they were no more.'” Matthew 2:16-18
“In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.” Luke 2:1-2
“and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.” Luke 2:7
January is winding down. We are five weeks past Christmas. My how time flies. I can’t believe the first month of this new year of 2016 has almost come and gone. And look what I am still doing. I am still writing about that first Christmas and early years of Jesus’ life. It seems I just can’t get those days out of my head or heart. I think the Lord has many more lessons He would like to teach me out of these stories. I read the next few verses out of Matthew 2. CRAZY Herod. He missed the wonder of the birth of Christ. Such a contrast between the wise men who bent the knee in worship because they recognized True Royalty and a royal king too jealous to even go meet the young King. What rage and anger and fear this man harbored in his soul! I close my eyes and listen, really listen and I hear the haunting wails of mothers who had empty arms after Herod’s rampage through Bethlehem. Wailing and loud lamentation because Rachel was weeping for her children. She refused to be comforted, because they were no more. The hair on the back of my neck stands on end as I listen to these mother’s cries as they echo down through the ages. Same cries mother’s are wailing now as Isis marches through their territories and beheading Christians as they march their march of hatred. Same cries Jewish mom’s echoed during the days of the Holocaust and Hitler and the evil SS marched through Europe marking every Jew with the Star of David and setting up incinerators for a nation’s disposal. Same cries Israelite women wailed out as Pharaoh slaughtered the first born male child of Israel. Even as I write this tears are sliding and heart is breaking. The Christmas Story is not all ogeey and gooey sentimental memories. It has its dark moments. Dark moments come in every generation because… Because, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8 Our enemy the devil uses jealousy and hatred and anger and he mounts an attack against the plans of God. Herod was filled with fear of being usurped and the devil used him and mounted an attack causing great devastation in the town of Bethlehem, but the plan fell way short of what he set out to accomplish. Though leaving pain and mutilation in its wake, he could not lay hold of God’s One and Only Son, our Savior.
Ceasar Augustus missed that first Christmas. Never not even once did he go worship the Christ Child. He was to busy counting all his subjects so he could gain more tax base. The love of money kept him from recognizing the First Christmas.
The innkeeper was to busy making money to even acknowledge this obvious young pregnant girl about to give birth. Busyness and and the desire for profit kept him from recognizing the First Christmas that was actually taking place right outside his window.
They totally missed Christmas. They were too self consumed and they missed it.
Jesus has promised He is coming back again. He gave us many signs of his imminent return. They are written in His Book.
““At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. “At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’ “Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’ “ ‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’ “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. “Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’ “But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’ “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.”
Matthew 25:1-13 NIV
O brother and sister, He is coming back again. He said He would and He will because whatever He promises that will He accomplish. My question: Are we ready? Are we doing all we can to make sure everyone we know will be on board? Many missed his first coming because they were too self absorbed. No one is going to miss His second coming.
“It is written: “ ‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.’ ””
Romans 14:11 NIV
“that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Philippians 2:10-11 NIV
People we will either bend the knee now in worship of our Savior or we will be forced to bend when He comes as the conquering Hero. The first time He came it was in the middle of the night. He slipped silently into our world. He came wrapped in an innocent baby. The 2nd coming a trumpet will sound and all will worship. Read the end of His Book!
Until that day the body of Christ, the bride of Christ must get ready! Don’t be unprepared!
“Lord fan a flame in us for the sake of the world.” Bethel Music