The First Bah Humbug (A Scary Christmas Story with a Happy Ending)

Some people find the holiday season irritating, aggravating and downright loathsome.

In Christmas movies, these individuals always end up embracing the joy of the season, melting at the special touch of a loved one, a meaningful gift or a carol sung by a pure-hearted child

but in real life, they usually maintain their Grinch-like posture, embrace their inner Scrooge and manage to suck the joy of the season from those around them, as well.

This, loved ones, is as traditional as a crèche. For the first “Bah humbug!” was muttered long ago in a language that is still spoken by descendents of the original Christmas rebel.

You see, not everyone greets the coming of a new king with open arms.

Especially not the current king sitting precariously on the throne just waiting for a usurper to upstage him.

When wisemen traveled from the east in search of the new king predicted by the arrangement of the constellations, they thoughtfully checked in with the sitting king of the land, King Herod. Naively thinking he would share their joy and wonder, they informed him that a new king had been born and they had traveled far to worship at his feet.

Herod, deft at deception and political prowess, played along with the magi, pretending to agree with their delight at the newcomer who threatened his throne. “Please, do let me know when you find him!” Herod asks them, his voice a caramel river of charm. “I will follow to where you are and adore the young lad myself. I have something special I would like him to have.”

Yeah, like a knife to the chest.

The magi, being wise men, did smarten up and after they found Jesus, they kept mum about the precise address of his crib and headed home by an alternate route they worked out on an ancient version of MapQuest.

The frustrated king, reigning in a time long before GPS, had no other choice but to order a mass extermination of all male children under the age of two.

This is not a heartwarming story.

This is chubby baby boys warm and swaddled at their mothers’ breasts one moment – sliced in two by the glinting edges of Roman swords and daggers the next. Mothers and fathers left reeling and confused, kneeling and weeping in the cobbled streets of Jerusalem, without recourse under the reign of a merciless tyrant worried that an infant might steal some of his glory.

King Herod was an early adopter of the “Bah Humbug!” approach to Christmas but he was not the originator.

We must travel farther back in time to locate that old snake.

Isaiah 14 says this: 12 How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! 13 You said in your heart, “I will ascend to the heavens; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon. 14 I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.” 15 But you are brought down to the realm of the dead,to the depths of the pit.”

There was once a created being who thought he could be God. He was ambitious for the throne. He was wise, clever, beautiful and talented but he aspired to a height that belongs to only One.

When he was cast out of heaven for his rebellion, along with those who supported him, he raged against the machine. When the One created a new race, humanity, he immediately plotted to spoil them and seat himself on the throne of their hearts and he gloried in himself when his original deception worked and they were cast out of paradise.

Imagine his anger, then, when the One set into motion a plan to redeem humanity!

There was no plan for his redemption. He has been condemned. But now, this puny race, this people so easily deceived and infected with the blood of rebellion, now these humans are to be redeemed with the perfect blood of the Only Son of the One!??

When this realization set in, loved ones, that is when the original “Bah Humbug!” echoed through the cosmos as Satan spit and cursed and railed against the audacity of grace bestowed upon undeserving humans.

And still, there are those who would rather sit upon the throne of their own measly lives and reign in the moment, then to allow this true king to take His seat and submit to His rule in their lives and live forever.

One day, we will hear the last “Bah humbug!” It will not be a cry of triumph but a pitiful gasp as the originator finally answers for the spilled blood of those babies and the babies who came after them whose innocence was rent in two by men who were neither wise nor seeking anything other than their own glory.

He sees the precious, inestimable value of redemption bestowed through faith in Jesus Christ – why don’t we? His anger burns against God for bestowing such a gift and against those of us who have received it.

King Herod lives on and his heart will not melt at the pure song of a child. Evil lives in this world and it will have its way in many dark places – even on Christmas day. But it will not have its way forever, loved ones.

“For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
 Of the greatness of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the LORD Almighty
will accomplish this. Isaiah 9

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1 Comment

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  1. Karin says:

    Awesome plan of God to send us a Redeemer and give us a choice of who will sit on the throne of our heart – SELF or the King of kings!