Rachel weeping

Peter_Paul_Rubens_Massacre_of_the_Innocents

Today is the day on which the Church remembers the massacre of the Innocents as recorded in Matthew 2:13-23.

Verse 15 refers to words of Hosea 11:1“When Israel was a child, I loved him,
And out of Egypt I called My son.” 
Just as Israel was preserved from destruction in Egypt, so God’s Son, the hope of Israel, is preserved from destruction; but just as the first-born of Egypt died, so now, do the first born of Israel.

Verses 17 and 18 refer to Jeremiah 31:15

“A voice was heard in Ramah,
Lamentation and bitter weeping,
Rachel weeping for her children,
Refusing to be comforted for her children,
Because they are no more.”

Rachel, the wife of Jacob and thus the mother of Israel, is depicted by the prophet mourning over her descendants who have been slaughtered by the Babylonians. But if we take the whole of Jeremiah 30-33 we can see that either side of these lamentations there is the looking forward to the new Covenant, the new era which the coming of the Messiah will inaugurate.

St. Matthew, steeped as he was in the Jewish Scriptures, sees the parallel for us – that out of this destruction there will come a new life; Jesus is the fulfilment of the words of the prophets. At the end of the chapter there is a reference to Isaiah 11:1, where Jesus, the ‘Stem of Jesse’, the ‘Branch’, and also to Isaiah 6:13 where, after God had cut down the tree of Israel, a little stump was left from which a branch would grow.

Suffering, like the poor, is with us always, and in so far as we alleviate the suffering of the poor, we do it for and to Christ, because he is in every one of us, and we are in his image. Death is something which comes to us all, even if our society conspires to hide the fact. I never knew my mother, who died soon after I was born, and that is a sorrow, but it is one which is in the natural order of things, which is what makes the massacre of the Innocents the more shocking, because it runs against the natural order in two ways: the child dying before the parent, and adults killing rather than caring for children. What can comfort a mother for the loss of her child? And yet in our time, many mothers choose not to have their child, and society, so anxious to shield us from the reality of our own mortality, turns a blind eye and uses smooth words to condone infanticide. We should not, we cannot and must not, judge women who come to that place; we cannot know what drove them there, and everyone is different. But we can lament the slaughter, for that is what it is. If they truly knew what it was they did, then many would not do it.

We have moved from a society which accepted (because it had no choice) that infant mortality would be high, through one which sought to end that situation, to one where we routinely abort millions of children in the name of a spurious ‘right to choose’. I say spurious because no one asks the child in the womb, who gets no choice at all. So, on this feast of the massacre of the Holy innocents, let us pray for all those afflicted by this modern curse of abortion – including the women concerned.

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About JessicaHof
Anglican Christian, evangelist, survivor, grateful

25 Responses to Rachel weeping

  1. Reblogged this on My Daily Musing and commented:

    This is a good post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • JessicaHof says:

      Thank you so much 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • It was my pleasure, :).

        Liked by 1 person

        • JessicaHof says:

          🙂 xx

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Just on this alone, i.e. abortion, GOD surely must judge the nations! And I am one of those that believes that humanities great fallen modernity & postmodernity will see the so-called Great Tribulation! (Matt. 24: 21-22 / Mk. 13:19-20)

    Liked by 1 person

    • JessicaHof says:

      It is our great sin as a modern society

      Like

    • No, we ain’t seen nothing yet! We so-called proud moderns, so think we have it all! But without GOD we have nothing! See John Henry Newman’s poem: Faith Against Sight!

      The world has cycles in its course, when all That once has been, is acted o’er again: – Not by some fated law, which need appal Our faith, or binds our deeds as with a chain; But by men’s separate sins, which blended still The same bad round fulfil.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Btw I was given a very nice accolade the other day, a Jewish friend of mine, who is also Messianic called me ‘A Watchman’ with this verse, (Ezekiel 3: 17)! Wow, such an approval and kindness for an old Irish Gentile Anglican Christian! Surely God’s People, Jew & Gentile are the Cream of the Earth!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Any other Watchman out there? I know God has His remnant! And we Zionist type Christians must close ranks with God’s Jewish people! Tough times are coming I fear! So many would like to massacre both Jews and Christians, and both literally and in some with cutting debate and moral-mental hate! We are seeing this more and more in the West!

          Liked by 1 person

        • JessicaHof says:

          I think we have to stand with Israel. When people say to me anti-Zionism is not the same as anti-semitism, I say this: they both have the same end – killing Jews.

          Liked by 1 person

        • If I could ask, I wonder how many who read here, have been to Modern Israel? Just a friendly question.

          Liked by 1 person

        • JessicaHof says:

          I have.

          Like

        • I guess not eh? Oh well. The subject of Modern Israel is not popular today, even with many so-called Evangelicals, amazing!

          Liked by 1 person

        • JessicaHof says:

          Very true Father – and a great compliment.

          Like

        • Yes, Jesus/Yeshua was/is Jewish, in Matthew 1:1–6 and Luke 3:31–34 of the New Testament, Jesus (the God/Man) is described as a member of the tribe of Judah by lineage. Revelation 5:5 also mentions an apocalyptic vision of the Lion of the tribe of Judah. See too Hebrews 7: 14, and note also verse 15, resembling Melchizedek, one who became a priest, not through a legal requirement concerning physical descent, but through the power of an indestructible life.” (note verses 17 thru 22, “the guarantee of a better covenant.”) See also 2 Cor. chapter 2, soon perhaps that “old covenant” veil will be removed for the Jewish people, i.e. that faithful remnant! But what a hard time it will be for them before the they see the Lord of Glory! (Zech. 13: 8-9 / Matt. 23: 39 / Rev. 1: 7…”He is coming with clouds: every eye will see him, even those who pierced him: and on this account all the tribes of the earth will wail. So it is to be. Amen.” Some will wail it appears (the lost?), and some will mourn! But we who believe, will Come with HIM! (Revelation 19: 6-9) Indeed “the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” (Verse 10)

          Liked by 1 person

        • And make no mistake we Gentile Christians only come into the covenant blessings of National Israel! (Rom. 15: 8-9 / Eph. 2-11-12) “to the Jew first and also to the Greek (Gentiles).” (Rom. 1: 16) and the Power of the Gospel!

          Liked by 1 person

        • Btw Jess, in case I have not mentioned it to you before? But I lived and taught in Israel for about five years not too long after Gulf War 1, which of course I was in. And yes, I loved it there! Had it not been for my wife’s health, we might still be there?

          Liked by 1 person

        • JessicaHof says:

          Sounds wonderful, Father!

          Like

      • JessicaHof says:

        I do hope that we can soon get rid of this evil from our midst.

        Like

  3. Ben Nelson says:

    Good Word, Jessica. I’ve thought on this a bunch this season, and wrote about it some on my blog as well. Your link to abortion is perfect. It is the same murdering spirit behind this massacre and whispering in men and women’s ears today.
    Thank you for adding your voice.

    Liked by 1 person

    • JessicaHof says:

      Thank you Ben. I think later generations will look back at us the way we do on slavery and wonder how anyone could have defended the practice.

      Like

      • Ben Nelson says:

        I pray you’re right.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Btw Jessica, I hope your not near York? Floods a go’in there!

    Liked by 1 person

    • JessicaHof says:

      No, I am safe where I am – but have donated to the support fund for those flooded out.

      Like

  5. Btw, just a point of history, but the Welsh Richard Burton lost his mother when he was less than two years old! Burton was raised by his sister and husband who took him into their Presbyterian mining family, in the town of Port Talbot (an English speaking steel town). Indeed the life of Burton was interesting to say the least! He also had a brother who was 19 years his senior. A miner and rugby player, who “ruled the household with the proverbial firm hand”!

    I played a bit of rugby myself, I was lean, but mean, and would fight at the drop of a hat! Later I was something of a golden-glover, as a young teen. But I hated getting hit! Dad would say, ya got to get hit, to give a hit or hits! Kinda like life I guess? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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