“This is what the LORD says: ‘A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because her children are no more.’” — Jeremiah 31:15
This is the most heart-breaking Messianic prophecy in all of Scripture. This verse is proof positive of Satan’s desire to “kill, steal and destroy.” What is the background of the verse? Remember that the Wise Men went to Jerusalem (assuming that the young child would be in the capital city) and when they arrived they could no longer see the star. I believe this was a result of the spiritual darkness of Jerusalem. They went to the palace and talked to Herod about the child and the star. Herod was taken by surprise. He hadn’t heard about this from anyone in Jerusalem, and he would know because he was the king of the region.
Herod called the religious leaders in and asked them where the prophecies said the Messiah was to be born. They told Herod that He was to be born in Bethlehem of Judah. Herod directed the Wise Men to go to Bethlehem and to report back to him after they found the Christ child. The Wise Men left Jerusalem and on their way to Bethlehem the star reappeared and they followed it all the way to the town. After they honored and worshiped the Christ child, the Lord warned them in a dream not to go back to Herod because he meant to harm the child. The Lord also warned Joseph and Mary to leave the town and to go to Egypt for safety.
When Herod realized that the Wise Men had left Bethlehem and did not come back to report what they found about the prophetic King, he ordered that all the boys in Bethlehem age 2 years and younger be slain. I believe that at this moment he was being manipulated by Satan himself. What a terrible event, soldiers heading into the peaceful town and killing all those children! Herod’s motive might have been to wipe out his competition, but Satan’s motive was to attempt to prevent the act of salvation that would “crush his head.”
This prophecy and its historical fulfillment remind us once again how deadly sin is and why we need a Savior. It also reminds us that we have an enemy who seeks to destroy us. Last, it reminds us that “He who is in us is greater than he who is in the world.” Jesus is the long-awaited Messiah and He did crush Satan’s head.