A Heart like Herod or A Heart Like His?
I haven’t given much thought to King Herod before this Christmas season.
This semester, in bible study, we studied chapters 1-13 of Matthew and I learned some important background information about him.
Just from reading Matthew 2 we can draw a few conclusions about Herod:
Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.” -Matthew 2:1-3
Herod was king, in a royal position when Jesus was born. He was upset when he heard about the one who had been born King of the Jews.
Then Herod secretly called the magi and determined from them the exact time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, ‘Go and search carefully for the Child; and when you have found Him, report to me, so that I too may come and worship Him.’” -Matthew 2:7-8
If you read further down in this chapter, we can easily conclude that Herod was lying to the magi. He did not want to worship the Child, he wanted to be rid of Him.
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 all its vicinity, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the magi.” -Matthew 2:16
Herod ruled with hatred by having all the male children killed. He did not want this King of the Jews to survive and he wanted to ensure his own reign.
It would be easy to cast judgment on Herod’s evil deeds and dark heart. But what about us?
Do we slay others in the wake of our desire for power, in the presence of insecurities and when another is shining brighter than we are?
How many times are we troubled, enraged or envious as we hear about the rise of another?
Like Herod we kill
There’s a Steven Curtis Chapman song entitled, Christmas is All in the Heart. Isn’t it interesting that the Messiah, the King of the Jews, born so many years ago, desires to sit on the throne of our hearts?
He sits down at the right hand of the Father and He came, died and was resurrected so that we can be forgiven, restored and welcomed into the Kingdom.
When we let Jesus lead, and make Him Lord of our lives, we give Him permission to reside in our hearts and change us from the inside out.
Our Herod-heart is exchanged for a King-of-Kings-heart.
We reject rage and embrace grace.
We search for Jesus as magi and allow Him to slay our sin.
Christmas is all about the heart.
Is your heart soft soil, ready to make room for the Savoir? Or do you turn away hard-hearted, angry that He is Lord and you are not?
Would you help us have a heart like Yours this Christmas? Forgive our rage and hate and help us to have soft hearts that welcome You in. Help us to lay down our envy and our right to rule and bow in worship like wise men. Thank You for coming for us and not leaving us slaves to sin. We long to walk in freedom as You rule, in Sovereignty and Love, over us. Amen.
Join me over at Wendy Speake’s place for her beautiful #holidayhaiku series. I’m guest posting today over there as we pray, Search Me O God at Christmastime…
Linking up with the #RaRaLinkup too.