If you’ve read the Bible much, you know that sometimes it can be difficult to feel the full weight of the words written. Facts are presented, details recounted, encouragement given; but sometimes, I find I read verses rather flippantly that would shake my world if they showed up in today’s headlines.
There’s a verse in Matthew that I have read time and time again and have known for who knows how long. It makes me cringe upon reading it; but, frankly – sadly, it doesn’t seem to concern me much. It certainly doesn’t evoke warm fuzzies, so I suppose I haven’t really ever tarried there to consider its full weight.
“Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men.” -Matthew 2:16
Um. Excuse me, what? I mean, have you ever really thought this through? I certainly hadn’t; especially not compared to how John Piper has in his poem “The Innkeeper.”
Piper’s poem takes some creative licensing, for sure. But oh my, does it ever draw you in to Scripture. When I’ve read Matthew 2 in the past, I’ve simply rejoiced that God was able to keep Mary, Joseph, and Jesus safe. I’ve been thankful for prophecies fulfilled and for the ability to see God’s preservation of His story, His way. I know the big picture, and maybe that’s why this verse has never affected me so deeply. But, I also know the power and the depth of the Scriptures when you take the time to delve more deeply.
So, grab a box of Kleenex, and check this out: