Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Slaughter of the Innocents

This Sunday at church we were studying the events around the birth of Jesus.  One of those events was when Herod tried to kill Jesus by killing all male children aged 2 years old and younger in all of Bethlehem.  The Bible I was using had a heading over that section entitled "The Slaughter of the Innocents."  I could not think of anything more appropriate than the events of last Friday. 

Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men.  Matthew 2:16 NKJV

Ever since Eve took that first bite of the forbidden fruit, evil entered the hearts of humans.  It only took until the second generation of humans before the first murder occurred when Cain killed Abel and we have not slowed down since.  Senseless killing has been part of the human story for almost as long as there have been humans.  Such is the reality in a world that rejects God and subjects itself to the rule of Satan and the flesh.  In fact, this world is so far gone into rebellion against God that the mere mention of our rebellion against God in the face of any tragedy He allows to occur is met with bitter and angry scorn.  This should be no surprise as this is often how Israel treated the prophets God sent to warn her. 

It is hard to think of those precious many coldly slaughtered without a chance.  Boys and girls cheated of the chance of ever growing up.  It makes me wonder just what precious gifts were stolen from this world.  How many would have grown up to become doctors and how many of those would have saved lives?  How many were to become scientists making our lives just a little bit easier in this cold hard world?  How many would have been missionaries bringing the Gospel to the unsaved and how many would have come would they have ever grown up to be sent?  How many would just be husbands and wives, mothers and  fathers, raising up a future generation we will never know?  What was killed was potential that will never be realized in lives that will never be lived.  What they were to be will now never be as each of us is a unique and precious creation of God.  What they were can never be replaced.

You see, this past Friday, in places of "health" all over this nation, 3700 babies were slaughtered.  This also happened Thursday, Wednesday, Tuesday, Monday, and it is happening as we speak today.  There are no cute pictures of hair in braids or bright blue eyes, there are no memories, there is not even a grieving parent, there is only a dismembered bloody corpse killed out of selfishness and thrown away like common trash.  Many of those people who scoff and question how God can sit back and allow evil things to happen should be rather thankful that He does.  You see, God is not uncaring, inept, permissive, cruel, or cold.  God's anger at what we do and allow to happen each and every day in this nation burns hotter than our sun.  The only thing standing between His wrath and this world is His patience in desiring that those who perpetuate such wicked acts accept the free gift of salvation offered through Jesus Christ.  The true testament of God's strength is not in lashing out in anger but in holding back that anger in mercy.  God is eternal, His patience is not.  One day that white-hot wrath will be unleashed and this world will be plunged in a day worse than any Mayan calender can imagine.  The time to come to Jesus is now because by then it may be too late.  For those who choose to die in their sins, they will suffer the same eternal lake of fire as the man who shot and killed those students this past week.  God have mercy on those who commit such acts, God have mercy on those who allow it, and God help us who do not grieve just as much for the slaughter of the innocents that occurs every day in this world to children who never even had the chance to be born and the even greater tragedy of the many who die each day never knowing Jesus.

The Lord is not slack concerning [His] promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. 2 Peter 3:9-10 NKJV

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