Jeremiah 31:15 — Thus says the LORD: “A voice is heard in Ramah, lamentation and bitter weeping. Rachel is weeping for her children; she refuses to be comforted for her children, because they are no more.”
Have you ever heard a mother crying for her child? I have. It is a sound that will tear through your heart like a chainsaw through a tree. Mothers who have lost children or mothers whose child is suffering or missing are heartbreaking specimens. Their deep love for their children comes out in their weeping and groaning.
Our text today tells us of such a day. What is fascinating about our passage is that it is a prophecy. In Jeremiah 31:15, we see the LORD say, “A voice heard in Ramah, lamentation and bitter weeping. Rachel is weeping for her children; she refuses to be comforted for her children, because they are no more.” Lamentation and bitter weeping are sorrow and cries of pain coming out. The person doing the lamenting and weeping is Rachel. Rachel is the wife of Jacob. Jacob is the father of the twelve tribes of Israel. The picture here is that Rachel is weeping for Israel.
This is inconsolable. Something tragic has happened. The children of Rachel are no more. This prophecy points forward to a coming strife and tribulation. At the point at which Jeremiah writes this, Rachel is deceased. She is with the LORD, but the prophecy points to how badly the situation is going to be for Israel. Something so tragic is coming that it will cause the lament and bitter weeping of Rachel for her children.
What happened? This verse is quoted in Matthew 2:18 in reference to the slaughter of babies under the age of two by King Herod’s command. The Gospel writer sees this prophecy as being fulfilled as Herod seeks to destroy the Messiah born to Israel.
Through the Scriptures we see prophecies about the Messiah fulfilled in Jesus. He is the promised One. He fulfills all the Old Testament promises, and this is why we should place our full trust in Him.
Reflection & Journal:
- What are prophecies and why do they matter?
- Why is Rachel weeping for her children in this prophecy? What’s happened?
- How are the fulfillment of prophecies helpful for our faith?
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