Daily Archives: February 10, 2018

February 10 The Joy of Recollection

“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you” (Phil. 1:3).


A key to Christian joy is to recall the goodness of others.

Though Paul was under house arrest in Rome when he wrote to the Philippians, his mind wasn’t bound. Often he reflected on his experiences with the Philippian Christians. As he did so, his thoughts turned to prayers of praise and thanksgiving for all the Lord had done through them.

I’m sure Paul remembered when he preached in Philippi and God opened Lydia’s heart to believe the gospel (Acts 16:13–14). Subsequently everyone in her household was saved (v. 15). Surely her kindness and hospitality were bright spots in an otherwise stormy stay at Philippi.

He must also have remembered the demon-possessed girl whom the Lord delivered from spiritual bondage (v. 18), and the Philippian jailer who threw Paul and Silas into prison after they had been beaten severely (vv. 23–24). Perhaps the girl became part of the Philippian church—the text doesn’t say. We do know that the jailer and his whole household were saved, after which they showed kindness to Paul and Silas by tending to their wounds and feeding them (vv. 30–34).

The many financial gifts the Philippians sent to Paul were also fond memories for him because they were given out of love and concern. That was true of their present gift as well, which was delivered by Epaphroditus and went far beyond Paul’s need (Phil. 4:18).

Paul’s gratitude illustrates that Christian joy is enhanced in your life by your ability to recall the goodness of others. A corollary is your ability to forgive shortcomings and unkindnesses. That goes against the grain of our “don’t get mad—get even” society, but is perfectly consistent with the compassion and forgiveness God has shown you. Therefore, be quick to forgive evil and slow to forget good.


Suggestions for Prayer:  Take time to reflect on some people who have shown kindness to you and encouraged you in your Christian walk. Thank God for them. If possible, call them or drop them a note of thanks. Assure them of your prayers, as Paul assured the Philippians. ✧ If you harbor ill will toward someone, resolve it quickly, and begin to uphold that person in prayer.

For Further Study: Read Matthew 5:23–26; 18:21–35. What were our Lord’s instructions regarding forgiveness and reconciliation?[1]

[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 53). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.


Not every one that saith unto me, LORD, LORD, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.


Have you noticed how much praying for revival has been going on of late—and how little revival has resulted?

I believe our problem is that we have been trying to substitute praying for obeying, and it simply will not work!

A church, for instance, follows its traditions without much thought about whether they are scriptural or not. Or it surrenders to pressure from public opinion and falls in with popular trends which carry it far from the New Testament pattern. Then the leaders notice a lack of spiritual power among the people and become concerned about it. What to do? How can they bring down refreshing showers to quicken their fainting souls?

The answer is all ready for them. The books tell them how—pray!

The passing evangelist confirms what the books have said—pray!

So the pastor calls his people to pray. The tide of feeling runs high and it looks for a while as if the revival might be on the way. But it fails to arrive and the zeal for prayer begins to flag. Soon the church is back where it was before and a numb discouragement settles over everyone.

What has gone wrong? Simply this: Neither the leaders nor the people have made any effort to obey the Word of God. They felt that their only weakness was failure to pray, when actually in a score of ways they were falling short in the vital matter of obedience![1]

[1] Tozer, A. W., & Smith, G. B. (2015). Evenings with tozer: daily devotional readings. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

Republicans Announce Plan To Pretend To Be Fiscally Conservative Again The Moment A Democrat Takes Office

WASHINGTON, D.C.—During a budgetary discussion Friday, Republican lawmakers announced a plan to pretend to be fiscally conservative again if a Democrat takes office again in 2020 or 2024. The GOP said it would begin to decry deficit spending and the $20 trillion debt in order to win votes as soon as political power swung back […]

. . . finish reading Republicans Announce Plan To Pretend To Be Fiscally Conservative Again The Moment A Democrat Takes Office.

Op-Ed: Looks Like We Forgot To Defund Planned Parenthood Again Like We Promised—Shucks, Sorry, Darnit—Maybe Next Time

Fellow Americans: we want to take a quick moment of your time to apologize. You probably heard that we just passed a huge spending deal—and it looks like we totally forgot to defund Planned Parenthood again, even though we promised you countless times we would do exactly that if you would just give us the […]

. . . finish reading Op-Ed: Looks Like We Forgot To Defund Planned Parenthood Again Like We Promised—Shucks, Sorry, Darnit—Maybe Next Time.

What Is Truth?

Aaron Brake offers three different views of Truth: The pragmatic theory; coherence theory; and  correspondence theory. In his piece over at Stand to Reason, Brake explains these views and then makes the case for what he believes is the only option for the Christian. He writes:

“What is truth?” Pontius Pilate wasn’t the first, or the last, to ask this.

The question, at first blush, may sound profound. In reality, I think we all know the answer to this age-old inquiry. I say that because we presuppose a certain definition of truth in our speech and actions every day of our lives. ….. Perhaps the problem is not that we do not know what truth is but rather that we do not know that we know. In other words, we may not be confident in our knowledge of what truth is because we struggle to articulate a definition. But this is easily remedied if we take a few moments to reflect on the nature of truth.

Three Views on Truth

Historically, there have been three dominant theories of truth put forth by philosophers:[1]

First, there is the pragmatic theory of truth: truth is what works. Three major problems with this view are as follows:

Problem #1: The view seems counterintuitive. For example, there are some true beliefs which are not very useful (e.g., the belief that my cat has grey and white fur), and some false beliefs which may turn out to be very useful (e.g., my false belief that people actually read my articles is useful motivation to continue writing them).

Problem #2: The view is self-defeating. If truth is what works, then the pragmatic theory itself must not be true, since most philosophers throughout the ages have not held to the pragmatic theory (i.e., it didn’t “work” for them) but rather have found the correspondence theory to be much more useful!

Problem #3: The view implies relativism. Imagine two individuals who hold contradictory beliefs. On the pragmatic view, as long as these contradictory beliefs are useful for the respective individuals who hold them, we would have to conclude they are both true. But if that is the case, then truth is relative, a view which itself is untenable and self-refuting.

Second, there is the coherence theory of truth: truth is logical consistency (coherence) among a set of beliefs an individual holds. Three major problems with this view are as follows:

Problem #1: This view implies that contradictory propositions can be true. On this view, it is possible for two different people to hold contradictory beliefs yet for both beliefs to be “true” as long as these beliefs cohere with each individual’s web of belief respectively. This leads to the absurd notion that contradictory propositions can both be true.

Problem #2: For the same reasons as problem #1, and like the pragmatic view, this view implies relativism. On the coherence view, what is true is relative to each individual’s belief system. Two contradictory beliefs may both be “true” as long as they cohere with their respective systems. But relativism is false; therefore, like the pragmatic view, the coherence theory must be rejected.

Problem #3: This view, like the pragmatic view, seems counterintuitive. The reason is that the coherence theory cuts the knower off from the real world. What is true is not what matches reality but rather what coheres within a given system of belief. But most people intuitively understand that truth has something to do with the way the world really is.

Coherence is important but not enough. It is a necessary condition for truth but by itself is not sufficient. View article →

Source: What Is Truth?

Christalignment ‘legally’ threaten discerning Christians – caught profiting from plagiarism.

(Churchwatch Central) Jordan Hall from Pulpit & Pen recently critiqued a video Bethel pastor Ben Fitzgerald uploaded to Facebook, where Fitzgerald accuses Christians of ‘micro-judging’. Not only did Fitzgerald condemn those for calling his mother a ‘witch’ (even though by biblical definition what she  practices is witchcraft), he also accuses someone of passing on information about his family’s occultic practices to discernment sites. As a result of this, his family are now threatening Christians with ‘legal action’.

The video that Jordan Hall reviewed can be seen in this article here:

Bethel pastor has a FITzgerald about his mother’s occultism being exposed.


Holly Pivec recently wrote,

“Does Bethel know that legal action has been threatened against site owners, including myself, who have shared photos of the Christalignment cards and photos of their teams doing “readings” with the cards — despite the fact that this sharing of the photos falls under the fair use rule in copyright law?” [Source]

We were aware of this taking place very early on and would encourage people who have tried to warn the body of Christ about these charlatans, to come forward if they have had legal threats made against them.

Dave MacKenzie from the Glory Gathering site was one of those ‘legally threatened’ by the Hodges:

Dave published the threat Jen Hodge made against both he and Chris Rosebrough:

“Every photo you have used of ours is copy written. That applies to Chris Roseborough too. There will be legal action if photos are not down.” [Source]

MacKenzie observes:

“Where is the LOVE? The audacity to threaten me because my blog post exposes the non-biblical practices of Christalignment. BUT… HOLD THE PHONE… THERE IS NO ARTICLE… NEVER HAS BEEN… but there is now:–)” [Source]  View article →

Source: Christalignment ‘legally’ threaten discerning Christians – caught profiting from plagiarism.

Top Weekly Stories from ChristianNews.net for 02/10/2018

Clergy Gather to ‘Bless’ Late-Term Abortion Facility, Claim Abortion Staff Work for God’s ‘Glory’   Feb 04, 2018 06:57 pm

BETHESDA, Md. — Four clergy members who profess to be Christians and one rabbi gathered outside of a late-term abortion facility in Maryland on Monday to “bless” the location, which is run by notorious abortionist Leroy Carhart. “God of grace and God of glory, in whom we move and live,” prayed Carlton Veazey, president of the Religious Coalition for…

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Six People Now Found Dismembered in Flower Pots in Homosexual Serial Killer Case   Feb 09, 2018 05:59 pm

Photo Credit: Toronto Police Homicide Squad TORONTO — Canadian police state that they have now recovered the remains of at least six people that had been murdered, dismembered and placed in flower pots on property utilized by suspected serial killer Bruce McArthur. Police had stated last week that they had recovered the remains of three people in…

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Atheist Activist Group Complains to School District After Teacher ‘Casts Doubt Upon Evolution’   Feb 03, 2018 04:51 pm

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — One of the nation’s most conspicuous professing atheist organizations recently sent a letter to a Missouri school district to lodge a complaint about a science teacher who reportedly had been teaching students from a biblical Creation worldview instead of an evolutionary worldview. The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF)…

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Bermuda Becomes First Country in the World to Repeal Same-Sex ‘Marriage’   Feb 09, 2018 08:23 pm

(The Christian Institute) — Bermuda has become the first country in the world to repeal same-sex marriage. The British Overseas Territory legalized same-sex “marriage” through a Supreme Court ruling in May last year. It ignored the result of a 2016 referendum where voters overwhelmingly rejected its introduction. However, after a change in government, the…

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Judge Rules California Can’t Force Baker to Create Cakes for Same-Sex ‘Weddings’ in Violation of Her Christian Faith   Feb 07, 2018 03:39 pm

Photo Credit: Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — A Superior Court judge has ruled that the State of California cannot force a baker who identifies as a Christian to create cakes for same-sex “weddings” in violation of her faith. He differentiated between selling a generic product on the shelf with having to specially create a cake that…

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‘With Wings Like Eagles’? Church Signs Twist Scripture in Idolatrous Super Bowl Mania   Feb 05, 2018 09:16 am

A number of Christian-identifying houses of worship joined in on the idolatrous Super Bowl mania this past week by posting signs outside of their buildings twisting Scripture to signify their support for the Philadelphia Eagles. Some also not only threw parties to celebrate the Super Bowl in God’s house, but did so on what they often claim as the Lord’s…

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Walgreens Adopts Policy Allowing Males Who Identify as Females to Use Women’s Restrooms   Feb 09, 2018 01:55 pm

Photo Credit: Wikipedia user Anthony 92931 The nationwide drugstore chain Walgreens has adopted a policy allowing males who identify as females to use the women’s restroom, and vice versa. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Southern California shed light on the policy on Monday, which had been rolled out in November after a man who identifies as a…

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Students No Longer Reading Lord’s Prayer Over Loudspeaker at Louisiana School Following Lawsuit   Feb 06, 2018 06:39 pm

Photo Credit: CNN WEBSTER PARISH, La. — Students at a public high school in Louisiana are no longer reading The Lord’s Prayer over the loudspeaker each morning following a lawsuit filed by a woman who professes to be a Christian and her agnostic daughter. Christy Cole and her 17-year-old daughter Kaylee recently told CNN that no one has presented the…

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New Governor of Kansas Declares in Address Before Legislature: ‘Everyone Has a God-Given Right to Life’   Feb 09, 2018 11:54 am

TOPEKA, Kan. — The new governor of the state of Kansas delivered his first address to a joint session of the legislature on Wednesday, a speech that included a declaration that everyone has a God-given right to life. Jeff Colyer, who previously served as lieutenant governor, was sworn in as governor on Jan. 31 after Gov. Sam Brownback accepted a position to serve…

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University Student Body President Says ‘Very Vocal Group’ Tried to ‘Bully’ Him Into Cancelling Ken Ham Event   Feb 08, 2018 09:56 am

EDMOND, Okla. — The student body president at the University of Central Oklahoma says that a “very vocal group” recently tried to bully him to cancel Christian apologist Ken Ham’s appearance at the school, and while he did ultimately decide to cancel the event for various reasons, he said he would “not allow any more intimidation” going forward. Ham, who leads…

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02/10/2018 Weekend Snapshot — Top Stories This Week


Weekend Snapshot

Feb. 10, 2018
Top Stories This Week
Quote of the Week

“The best argument against Trump’s parade is that it will become a cultural-war flashpoint and ‘the resistance’ will try its utmost to ruin the affair. Just imagine a protester in a pussy hat in a Tiananmen Square-style standoff with an M1 Abrams tank.” —Rich Lowry

February 10, 2018 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

The Slaughter at Ramah

Then when Herod saw that he had been tricked by the magi, he became very enraged, and sent and slew all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its environs, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had ascertained from the magi. Then that which was spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled, saying, “A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children; and she refused to be comforted, because they were no more.” (2:16–18)

The third fulfilled prophecy that Matthew mentions in chapter 2 is that of Herod’s brutal slaughter in Bethlehem. After Joseph had secretly taken Jesus and His mother to the safety of Egypt, the malevolent Herod, enraged by the magi’s failure to report back to him (see 2:7–8), committed one of the bloodiest acts of his career, and certainly the cruelest.

The Greek word empaizō generally carried the idea of mocking, and is so translated in the King James Version of this passage. The root meaning is “to play like a child,” especially in the sense of making sport of or jesting. It is used to describe the accusations and taunts of Jesus’ enemies against Him (Matt. 20:19; 27:41; Mark 15:20; Luke 22:63; 23:11; etc.). But the idea in Matthew 2:16 is better rendered as tricked. Either meaning, however, refers to Herod’s perception of the motives of the magi, not their true intention. It was not their purpose to trick or mock the king but simply to obey God’s command “not to return to Herod” (v. 12). The king, of course, knew nothing of God’s warning and saw only that the wise men did not do as he had instructed.

Herod’s hatred of the newborn contender to his throne began when he first heard the news of His birth. The purpose of having the magi report back to him was to learn the exact information needed to discover and destroy the Child—not to worship Him, as he had deceitfully told the magi (2:8). The magi’s going home by another way, and so avoiding Herod, added infuriation to hatred, so that he became very enraged.

Thumoō (to be enraged) is a strong word, made still stronger by lian (very, or better, exceedingly). The Greek is in the passive voice, indicating that Herod had lost control of his passion and now was completely controlled by it. His senses, and what little judgment he may have had, were blinded. He did not bother to consider that, because the magi did not return to him, they probably had guessed his wicked intent and that, if so, they would surely have warned the family. The family, in turn, would have long fled Bethlehem and probably the country. In light of Herod’s perverted mind, however, he possibly would have taken the same cruel action—out of the same senseless rage and frustration—even had he known that the primary object of his hatred had escaped. If he was not able to guarantee killing Jesus by killing the other babies, he would kill them in place of Jesus.

In any case Herod’s rage was vented in the desperate and heartless slaughter of all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its environs, from two years old and under. He went up to the age of two because of the time which he had ascertained from the magi. Jesus was probably no older than six months at this time, but even if that had been the age Herod determined from the magi’s information (2:7), it is likely he would have taken no chances. Killing all the male babies up to age two was a small precaution in his evil thinking, in case the magi had miscalculated or deceived him.

Herod’s crime was made even more vile and heinous by the fact that he knew that the Child he sought to destroy was the Messiah, the Christ. He questioned the chief priests and scribes specifically about “where the Christ was to be born” (2:4). He arrogantly and stupidly set himself against God’s very Anointed (cf. 1 Cor. 16:22).

It seems as if, from the earliest part of his message, Matthew wanted to portray the rejection of the Messiah by those from among whom He came and in whose behalf He first came (Acts 3:26; Rom. 1:16). The chief priests and the scribes, along with the many other Jews in Jerusalem who must have heard or known about the magi’s message of the one “who has been born King of the Jews,” showed no interest at all in finding Him, much less in worshiping Him (see Matt. 2:2–5). Though Herod was not himself a Jew and had no right to a Jewish throne, he nevertheless declared himself to be the king of the Jews and made a pretense of concern for Jewish religious and economic interests. In an illegitimate and perverted way, therefore, Herod’s rejection of Christ both reflected and represented the Jews’ rejection of Him.

The slaughter in Bethlehem was the beginning of the tragedy and bloodshed that would result from Israel’s rejection of her Savior and true King. Those innocent and precious babies of Bethlehem were the first casualties in the now-intensified warfare between the kingdoms of this world and the kingdom of God’s Christ, God’s Anointed. Within two generations from that time (in a.d. 70) Jerusalem would see its Temple destroyed and over a million of its people massacred by the troops of Titus. Yet that destruction will pale in comparison with that of the Antichrist—a ruler immeasurably more wicked and powerful than Herod—when in the Great Tribulation he will shed more of Israel’s blood than will ever have been shed before (Dan. 12:1; Matt. 24:21–22). All of that bloodshed is over the conflict with the Messiah.

The least of Herod’s intentions was to fulfill prophecy, but that is what his slaughter did. Then that which was spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled. Herod’s beastly act is recorded only by Matthew, yet it was predicted in a text given to the prophet Jeremiah. The term fulfilled (from plēroō, “to fill up”) marks this out as completing an Old Testament prediction. This prophecy, like that of Jesus’ return from Egypt, was in the form of a type, which, as we have seen above, is a nonverbal prediction revealed in the New Testament. In the passage (Jer. 31:15) from which Matthew here quotes, Jeremiah was speaking of the great sorrow that would soon be experienced in Israel when most of her people would be carried captive to Babylon. Ramah, a town about five miles north of Jerusalem, was on the border of the northern (Israel) and southern (Judah) kingdoms. It was also the place where Jewish captives were assembled for deportation to Babylon (Jer. 40:1). Rachel, the wife of Jacob-Israel, was the mother of Joseph, whose two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, became progenitors of the two half-tribes that bore their names. Ephraim is often used in the Old Testament as a synonym for the northern kingdom. Rachel was also the mother of Benjamin, whose tribe became part of the southern kingdom. She had once cried, “Give me children, or else I die” (Gen. 30:1), and now her beloved “children,” her immeasurably multiplied descendants, were being taken captive to a foreign and pagan land.

Rachel weeping for her children therefore represented the lamentation of all Jewish mothers who wept over Israel’s great tragedy in the days of Jeremiah, and most specifically typified and prefigured the mothers of Bethlehem weeping bitterly over the massacre of their children by Herod in His attempt to kill the Messiah. So even while Israel’s Messiah was still a babe, Rachel had cause to weep again, even as the Messiah Himself would later weep over Jerusalem because of His people’s rejection of Him and the afflictions they would suffer as a consequence (Luke 19:41–44).

Though Matthew does not mention it here, because he is emphasizing the tragedy of the massacre, the passage he quotes from Jeremiah continues with a beautiful word of hope and promise: “Thus says the Lord, ‘Restrain your voice from weeping, and your eyes from tears; for your work shall be rewarded,’ declares the Lord, ‘and they shall return from the land of the enemy’ ” (Jer. 31:16). Within a few generations, the Lord brought His people back from Babylon, and one day He will bring all His chosen people back from captivity to Satan. “All Israel will be saved; just as it is written, ‘The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will remove ungodliness from Jacob. And this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins’ ” (Rom. 11:26–27; cf. Isa. 27:9; 59:20–21). But before that great and wonderful day, disobedience, rejection, and tragedy would continue in Israel. The massacre of the little ones in Bethlehem signaled the start of terrifying conflict.[1]

2:16–18 / Herod was furious when he realized that the wise men had not returned to him with information about the newborn king. Immediately he ordered the death of all male children in Bethlehem and the surrounding area who were two years old and under. His decision regarding age rested upon what he had learned from the Magi about the time the star had first appeared. It suggests that a number of months had intervened between the “rising” of the star in the east (2:2; cf. niv text note) and the return of the wise men to their own country. Undoubtedly Herod left a considerable margin for error. That Herod would carry out such a savage plan is not surprising. We already know that he murdered members of his own family, and, after all, Bethlehem was a tiny little village with not more than twenty or thirty children of that age. That Josephus the historian (or any other early writer) neglects to mention the slaughter tells us more about the cruelty of that day than it does about any lack of historicity of the event. Such purges were simply not noteworthy.

Once again Matthew finds prophetic background for the event. Jeremiah speaks of the weeping that took place in Ramah when Rachel mourned for her dead children (Jer. 31:15), giving a picture of the Israelites (Rachel’s children) filing by her grave at Ramah as they are led into captivity. Since the route to Babylon would lead the exiles north from Jerusalem, this has led to some confusion regarding the location of Ramah. If it is to be identified with Er-Ram, it would be located about six miles north of Jerusalem; if with Ramat Rahel, it would be on the road south from Jerusalem toward Bethlehem. Tradition has placed the burial place of Rachel near Bethlehem (cf. Gen. 35:19; 48:7). How then would the captives pass by on their way into exile? But is such geographical precision necessary? All we are intended to understand is that as Rachel mourned for her children, so also do the mothers of Bethlehem mourn for theirs.

Some have noted that the larger context of the Jeremiah passages is one of hope. The prophet goes on to say that the exiles will return (31:16) and “there is hope for your future” (31:17). God will bring his people back from captivity (31:23), refreshing the weary and satisfying the faint (31:25). Since a particular passage may intend the entire context (cf. C. H. Dodd, According to the Scriptures, p. 126), Matthew may be pointing beyond the immediate sorrow to the final result of the Messiah’s entrance into the world. Beyond pain and death there is certain victory.[2]

2:16–18. Herod would do anything to protect his own interests, including murdering children. Even though Herod the Great accomplished some wonderful achievements (such as major construction) during his reign, he is best known for his extreme paranoia and the bloodshed that ensued. The story of his slaughter of young boys in and around Bethlehem is consistent with the pattern of his life.

At the time of Herod’s slaughter of infant boys, Jesus must have been around one and one-half to two years old. Herod, in his paranoia, would have allowed for a margin of error in the estimate of the child’s age, ordering that the age range of those killed be high enough to include this king of the Jews (2:16). Demographers tell us there would have been perhaps two dozen boys two years old and under who were killed because of Herod’s obscene order. The weeping would have filled the night from Bethlehem to Ramah. Consider the arrogance of this man. He was observant enough to recognize the truth of Old Testament prophecies about God’s plan, but arrogant enough to think that he could thwart it! No created being, not even Lucifer, can thwart the plan of God. In this situation, God the Father intervened to protect his Son and to preserve our salvation.

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.

The verse Matthew quoted regarding the children slaughtered by Herod is one of these sorrowful notes common in Jeremiah’s ministry. But in its original context it is immediately followed by, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Restrain your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears, for your work will be rewarded,’ declares the Lord. ‘They will return from the land of the enemy. So there is hope for your future,’ declares the Lord” (Jer. 31:16–17). Perhaps a number of bereaved parents in and around Bethlehem found comfort in the Lord’s promise, trusting, without understanding, that there was some kind of meaning behind their tragedy. Matthew probably intended his readers, familiar as they were with the Old Testament, to understand the context of hope in which this tragic verse was originally planted, and so to be led one step closer to finding hope in the Messiah.[3]

[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1985). Matthew (Vol. 1, pp. 43–46). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Mounce, R. H. (2011). Matthew (pp. 18–19). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[3] Weber, S. K. (2000). Matthew (Vol. 1, pp. 21–22). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.