Lamentation Heard in Ramah
During this time when Jesus was born, all of a sudden it speaks about lament. There were sounds of lament because of Herod’s massacre of little boys under 2 years old, for the purpose of killing the Messiah who was born.
The actual time when Jesus was born was not a time with happiness, it was quite dark and depressing, especially because people did not recognise and celebrate the coming of the Messiah.
1. The significance of Rachel’s lament
In Genesis 30:1, Rachel had a desperate desire to bear the promised seed, to continue the lineage of this covenant. Rachel’s cry was a weeping for restoration.
The pain in giving birth to a child was a curse given by God to women after the fall. That pain was experienced by Rachel, not just at the moment of giving birth but the whole process of bearing and conceiving the seed was so hard. Women who became the vessel through whom God’s seed was born into this world, all went through this pain spiritually, mentally and physically.
But their cries are represented by Rachel’s cry today. Rachel is crying and weeping because of the curse that began. Her cry was a plea for forgiveness and restoration to bear a promised child. As a result, she bore a son, whose name was Joseph. Joseph became a type of Jesus. I believe as the church standing in the end times, as people who are called to God’ redemptive work, we need to have this cry.
In Matthew’s passage today, it was a lament for the babies killed because of Satan’s plot and evil intention to wipe out the seed of promise. Whether people believed it or not, Satan believed God’s promise. If the Messiah comes, He will crush the head of Satan. Satan knew it!
However, God preserved their seeds. Jesus in spite of all the obstacles and Satan’s attacks, He was finally born onto this earth just as God promised. Rachel’s cry was not just about the dying little boys but also about the lack of faith, the void in people’s hearts about the promise of God.
2. The lament heard in Ramah
Ramah is known to be the place when Assyria conquered northern Israel. In other words, Ramah was a place that reminds us of the days when God’s people failed to preserve God’s covenant.
When the wise men came to Herod asking for the king of the Jews, everyone knew that meant the Messiah, because the Messiah was to be born as David’s descendant, the eternal king of the Jews. Herod called the chief priests, scribes and religious leaders and commanded them to find out where the Messiah the King of the Jews is to be born. They found out that He was supposed to be born in Bethlehem but didn’t come. Ramah represents times when people lost their faith. That was the lament heard in Ramah.
3. The result of Rachel’s cry
The result of Rachel’s cry is the answer to her prayer – Joseph. The fruit of her lament and struggle was God’s gift. The one who will carry this covenant in faith to the fulfilment. Joseph became a type of Jesus, the promised son (Genesis 37:3, Genesis 48:5-6). When Jacob was old, he asked Joseph to bring his 2 sons. Ephraim and Manasseh became sons of Jacob instead of his grandsons. They took Joseph’s place in the family (Genesis 48:6). Joseph was taken out of the genealogy. His brothers wanted to kill Joseph because they felt Joseph was the chosen son, just like Herod and the religious leaders wanted to kill Jesus because Jesus was the chosen Son and King.
Today the world is trying to kill Jesus in us by wiping away our faith and by persecuting us because God has chosen you. But God has allowed Egypt to be a refuge and hiding place for both Joseph and Jesus. Although Egypt was a place of trouble and difficulties, it was a hiding place for Joseph, a place of God’s protection.
Then God allowed Joseph to come back as the Saviour of His people in Egypt, including His brothers who tried to kill him. Jesus also became the Saviour of His people who tried to kill him. Joseph becomes a role model to show us God’s promised seed and the flow of His covenant is hidden in the spiritual lineage.
This is a result of Rachel’s cry and lament. May that powerful second Coming Christ be born through this church. In order for that to happen, we need to weep and lament. We need to see the loss of faith in this world and cry and bear children of faith (1 Chronicles 5:1).
There is great agony in giving birth to the seed of salvation. Christmas is about Jesus being born into our lives. Satan will do all that he can to prevent Jesus from being born into your life, from being a blessing to your life. All kinds of doubts and temptations will appear.
We are living in times and a generation when everything else is the king that rules over people’s lives. In order for this world to have true joy, we the church need to weep and struggle to bring forth the son into this world, into the hearts of your family members. We need to fight and cry for the seed to be born as the great king. May Jesus be born into your life. May Jesus be the only king in your life.