Monday 28 December 2009

Bible Book:

"Rachel is weeping for her children; she refuses to be comforted for her children, because they are no more." (v.15)

Jeremiah 31:15-17 Monday 28 December 2009


The prophet Jeremiah proclaims the voice of the Lord when heexplains how Rachel (the mother of the famous Joseph and hisbrother Benjamin - Genesis 30:22-23; 35:16-20) weeps for her children and refuses tobe consoled because they are no more. (During Jeremiah's time, thewhole nation of Judah was taken into captivity in Babylon, and theJewish tribes, two of which regarded Joseph and Benjamin as theirforefathers, were exiled from their own land.)

In Matthew 2:16-18, we are told how Jeremiah'sprophecy is fulfilled when Herod, infuriated at having beenhumiliated by the Wise Men, kills all the children in and aroundBethlehem who are two years old or younger. But immediately afterthe prophecy to Rachel, Jeremiah tells us that the Lord answers hergrief, "Keep your voice from weeping, and your eyes from tears; forthere is a reward for your work, says the Lord: they shall comeback from the land of the enemy; there is hope for your future,says the Lord: your children shall come back to their owncountry."

These must have been extremely difficult words for Rachel tocomprehend, as would be the depth of anguish felt by a mother whohas lost a child to anyone who has not experienced it. Every nowand again, the media shows us the rage that rips at the heart of amother who has lost her child. We remember the scenes ofinconsolable grief broadcast across TV screens the world overfollowing the Beslan massacre on September 1 2004. 334 hostageswere killed, 186 of them children, after a group of armedterrorists took more than 1100 people captive in a schoolin Beslan, North Ossetia. The town's graveyarddoubled overnight and those of us who saw the images of relativesand friends tear their hair, beat their breasts and fall to theirknees will remember being struck with incomprehension, among otheremotions.

To Ponder

How do you think Rachel felt when she heard theLord's promise?

Have you ever lost sight of love in times ofdarkness? If so, how did the experience affect your faith?

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