Matthew 2:16 – When Herod saw that he was tricked by the magi, he became very enraged, and sent and slew all the male children who were in Bethlehem and all its vicinity, from two years old and under.
For a devotional, this Scripture is not encouraging, but it is reality. God’s enemies hate Him and all that is His. God is good and gives good gifts to His creation man. For someone to hate God, they must be evil in their core. Satan’s nature is evil in its depth. Those that are filled with pride and hate to the point of mass murder are a manifestation of Satan’s core. Herod was evil as he sought to kill Jesus through the genocide of the male children less than two years of age.
Satan tried to stop the purpose of God through mass murder of Hebrew children twice in history, when God was providing a deliverer through Moses and when Christ was born. At other times, he has tried to kill the Jewish people through genocide. During the first century, Satan tried to kill off the Lord’s church through the Roman emperor Nero.
We know the history of the twentieth century as Hitler tried to exterminate the Jewish people prior to the Lord returning them to the holy land. The enemy has used numerous nations in modern times to murder God’s people to stop the growth of Christianity. In more recent times the enemy has used radical Islam to attack God’s people. The hatred of Jews and Christians throughout the world has grown in volume and incidents of murder.
The enemy is scared because he knows his time is short. “The demons believe and shudder” (James 2:19). All is not dark and evil. The Spirit of God is being poured out in these days in preparation for a great harvest of souls. Just as in the time of Christ, terrible things happened, but God overcame terrible things with His goodness through Jesus the Lord. When the Holy Spirit was poured out on the Day of Pentecost, a great awakening took place and multitudes were saved and set free from the devil’s power. “You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him” (Acts 10:38).
This same Jesus is pouring out His Spirit with the same old time power around the world today. Rejoice, saints of God, for the devil is defeated and Christ is victorious! Light has come as Christ declared in the gospels and His saints are to be that light through the power of the Holy Spirit. Evil things may happen, but God is at work. “So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:12-13).
Father, I thank You for Your overcoming life that lives in me. I rejoice in Your Son who has defeated the evil one through His cross and in the power of the resurrection. Help me, Lord, to stand strong in the battles and also to overcome by the power of Your Holy Spirit who is in me.