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.”
The tomb of Rachel, “in the way to Ephrath, which is Bethlehem” (Genesis 35:19), had been, probably from the day when the “pillar” which marked it was first set up, one of the sacred places of the land because Rachel is considered a spiritual mother for the Jews. I read today a scathing reply of the Messianic prophecies as being too wobbly to be believed - Matthew 2:18. Jeremiah 31:15 - being very unreliable. Really Rama belonged at one time to Benjamin.
Jesus went to the Samaritans in the fourth chapter in John's Gospel to tell for the first time plainly that He is the Messiah. And just as Rachel and Benjamin were parted as well as Jacob - this is a reminder. This is God, years later, reclaiming the remnant Samaritan Jews thrown out in the Reclamation of Jerusalem after 70 years of captivity in Babylon.
Jacob felt Rachel's death was the most difficult thing in life to bear. And Jesus is born where Rachel died. God did not just weep for Lazarus. God had aspects of life He would draw forth again to heal. Jesus spoke of the prophet Jonah, we do not know his fate - only that Emperor Nebuchadnezzar and the way of discovery the Babylonian Empire wanted to know more about the God of Daniel renamed as Belteshazzar, with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. The fruit of the work of God through Jonah. The slaves were giving prominent homes to meet in for Sabbath Worship of their God. And Ezekiel was given his own house by the river to have peace enough to hear again and again from God.
Father God does not require that we work and work and work. Jesus is there for those who seek Him. He promises Ask and He will be found.
Ezekiel 34 - God is concerned with this life. And our welfare.
23-24 “‘I’ll appoint one shepherd over them all: my servant David. He’ll feed them. He’ll be their shepherd. And I, God, will be their God. My servant David will be their prince. I, God, have spoken.
25-27 “‘I’ll make a covenant of peace with them. I’ll banish fierce animals from the country so the sheep can live safely in the wilderness and sleep in the forest. I’ll make them and everything around my hill a blessing. I’ll send down plenty of rain in season—showers of blessing! The trees in the orchards will bear fruit, the ground will produce, they’ll feel content and safe on their land, and they’ll realize that I am God when I break them out of their slavery and rescue them from their slave masters.
28-29 “‘No longer will they be exploited by outsiders and ravaged by fierce beasts. They’ll live safe and sound, fearless and free. I’ll give them rich gardens, lavish in vegetables—no more living half-starved, no longer taunted by outsiders.
30-31 “‘They’ll know, beyond doubting, that I, God, am their God, that I’m with them and that they, the people Israel, are my people. Decree of God, the Master:
You are my dear flock,
the flock of my pasture, my human flock,
And I am your God.
Decree of God, the Master.’”
God is concerned with our heart. Our earnest heart. When Tyre looted the ruined Jerusalem, glad for its destruction, God felt this hardness of heart. Recently Baylor University and University of North Caroline uncovered a mosaic of Ezekiel 26. Alexander the Great visited the Temple to bow to the representative of God. Because Alexander the Great well knew prophecy of God in His Word after making Tyre into mainland in a tremendous military campaign to reach the Island of Tyre. Her ships were never to be seen again, and the island never recovered as Israel did again and again with the blessing and help of Father God. We learn about resiliency from the faith of Israel and more importantly, the Mercy of God - God is Love.
We will all have laments before we depart this life. Of choices we made and of people we loved and lost for various reasons. Jesus knew about this and said:
Now they were all weeping and lamenting for her; but He said, "Stop weeping, for she has not died, but is asleep."
You tell us this again when Exekiel's wife died. Ezekiel 24
Groan quietly; do not mourn for the dead. Keep your turban fastened and your sandals on your feet; do not cover your mustache and beard or eat the customary food of mourners.
Jesus grabs and holds our hearts because He weeps for us and with us. This is our Father God of Love. He strengthens us to be real and not anything but earnest. Providing the hope of real recovery.
We believe with You, Father God, what You have told us in Thesselonians we are informed,about those who asleep, we will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. We believe Jesus died and rose again, even and You will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus to eternal life in You.
♔ Lord Jesus Saves †