Matthew 2.16 remembers, Herod, when he realized that he had been outwitted by the wise men, flew into a rage. He gave orders to massacre all the boys in and around Bethlehem who were two years old and under, in keeping with the time he had learned from the wise men.
The age old question of why bad things happen to good people is never answered satisfactorily to those suffering. The Bible has a clear explanation but men find it unpalatable for it makes men responsible for all the suffering in the world that has ever been.
At Christmas we celebrate the birth of the Christ, God has entered our world as one of us. We give gifts to one another commemorating the wise men who gave gifts to God as babe in recognition of His Lordship. Yet in the midst of this story is awful tragedy.
Every other parent who experienced the blessing of a new born son around the time of God’s arrival as a babe would suffer terrible tragedy. All boys born around the time of Jesus would be executed by a sick and wicked king. How could God let this happen? How could the arrival of God into the world result in the removal of innocent babes from this world?
God is in control but He chooses not to control men, at least not completely. All of us feel the freedom to make choices. God stirs our hearts or else leaves us alone but in all cases we decide what we will do. God works in, through, around and by men but He doesn’t control men against their will. The evil in the world is a direct result of men choosing to rebel against God. It is why there are murders, rapes, thefts, hunger, poverty and all other maladies.
The only answer is restoration to God found in the gospel that points us to Jesus the Redeemer. Yet men chafe even at that response.