The vain Herod

The Magi’s message of a Jewish king born in King Herod’s region made him greatly troubled. Herod, popularly known as Herod the Great, was a worried man because he was neither of David’s lineage nor a pure Jew. He was an Edomite, a descendant of Esau who married one of Ishmael’s daughters (Genesis 28:8-9).

He had done well for himself as the client king of the occupying Roman forces. But the possibility of a true Jewish king filled him with panic: he might be dethroned; there might be a widespread rebellion which would endanger his position and life if the Romans thought he was incapable of controlling the Jewish people.

Herod had no idea where this child might be. He summoned the theological authorities to tell him. The question was not tough for them, and therefore the answer came forth instantly. The prophet Micah had written it down 700 years previously: “‘But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.’ (Micah 5:2). It was one of the well-known Messianic prophecies, but Herod was too engrossed in his power and position to research the kingdom he occupied.

It is the same today. Most people who seek their power and glory abhor the Scriptures. Even though they – the Scriptures – reveal God’s perfect wisdom, arrogant people make their wisdom. Although God has presented plain instructions about salvation, proud people assume they can save themselves. Notwithstanding numerous Old Testament prophecies being accomplished in the life and ministry of Jesus, self-important people reject His prophecies of heaven and hell. Wise people are ready to look into the Scripture to learn how to relate to their Maker; they find that His revelations satisfy their fundamental questions. So, make it your aspiration to search the Scriptures more thoroughly and thoughtfully.

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