“Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” Herod the Great
Oh, Herod is so religious.
He encourages the wisemen on their way and tells them he would like to go and worship the new born Jesus when they find out where he is.
Oh, Herod is so very important.
Herod used his power and influence to begin the restoration of the Temple in Jerusalem. He really looked out for the Jewish community.
Oh, Herod is oh so toxic!
“After a troubled reign of thirty-seven years, he died at Jericho amid great agonies both of body and mind, B.C. 4, i.e., according to the common chronology, in the year in which Jesus was born.”
Most of us would say, “Good riddance.” Easton’s says, “He was of a stern and cruel disposition. ‘He was brutish and a stranger to all humanity.'” He was most certainly a toxic leader of extraordinary proportions.
As is related in Matthew 2:16, Herod ordered the murder of boys born within a certain time frame in order to assure the destruction of Jesus after his birth. His fear of losing his power drove him to extreme measures much like many narcissistic and psychopathic leaders.
But, by God’s direction, the wisemen did not return to tell Herod when and where Jesus was born. God told them to reject their king’s edict and return home another way.
Herod’s Christmas Tidings
This is the Christmas tidings Herod brings to all people: Kill Jesus Christ, the baby, the Son of God, Ruler of all Ages, Who brings good tidings…
But, oh how God knows and directs the hearts of men. While we cry foul when considering the evil Herod, we also know that God used him for His own glory and the working out of His meticulous ways.
Because Herod sought to kill Jesus, and in the process killed any child that might possibly be Jesus, Joseph and Mary, being warned by God, took Jesus from Bethlehem to Egypt to fulfill prophecies from hundreds of years before. [Micah 5, Hosea 11]
I am thankful this Christmastime that God uses and then judges evil people. And I am thankful that while I despised Jesus Christ – calling him a crutch to those silly Christians – Jesus was busy taking on the judgment for my evil heart. God’s judgment was upon Jesus Christ, sending Him to the cross, so that I would not face His judgment.
In this blessed time of remembrance that a Child was born to bring peace to mankind, I pray for Herods everywhere…that they be turned from their evil or be judged. . . that there be peace on earth.
NOTE: Historical information regarding Herod the Great comes from Easton’s Bible Dictionary and the Bible.