Week of January 6 - Day 4

Day 4 Read: Matthew 2:13-18

Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” 14 And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt 15 and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt I called my son.”

16 Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men.17 Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah:

18 “A voice was heard in Ramah,
    weeping and loud lamentation,
Rachel weeping for her children;
    she refused to be comforted, because they are no more.”

Reflect: What was Herod’s plan B after the wise men had betrayed him? What evidence is in the text that this was no surprise to God?

Consider: The quote in 2:18 is from Jeremiah 31:15. Jeremiah prophesied during the decades leading up to and immediately following Judah’s fall to Babylon in 586 B.C. His ministry was one of proclaiming doom and judgment. However, he, like most Old Testament prophets, included a message of hope of forgiveness and restoration. Jeremiah 30–31 gives us a lengthy oracle focused on the future restoration of Judah. Even in this oracle of hope, Jeremiah occasionally mentions the sorrow and devastation of Judah, by way of contrast with the joy that would follow. Jeremiah’s specific prophecy relates to the captivity in Babylon and the killing of children during Babylon’s conquest of Judea. Its parallel here is striking.[1]

Respond: How does this passage comfort you in the face of evil we see in our world today? In what area of your life do you need to shift from living in fear to living confidently in Him?

[1] Stuart K. Weber, Matthew, vol. 1, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2000), 22.