Fear, sin, spine

Mark 6:22-27 For when Herodias’s daughter came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests. And the king said to the girl, “Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will give it to you.” 23 And he vowed to her, “Whatever you ask me, I will give you, up to half of my kingdom.” 24 And she went out and said to her mother, “For what should I ask?” And she said, “The head of John the Baptist.” 25 And she came in immediately with haste to the king and asked, saying, “I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.” 26 And the king was exceedingly sorry, but because of his oaths and his guests he did not want to break his word to her. 27 And immediately the king sent an executioner with orders to bring John’s[a] head. He went and beheaded him in the prison.

This is an interesting little story. Herod was King over the land and he had taken his brother’s wife for his own. John the Baptist spoke up against him saying, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” Now here is the interesting part, it was not Herod that wanted John dead but rather Herodias, his brothers wife, that he had taken for his own. She obviously didn’t want this man speaking against them. They were royalty after all. The scripture says in verse 6:19 that she had a grudge against John and wanted him put to death. But here is the kicker, verse 6:20 she couldn’t have him killed because the King feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, so he kept him safe.

Now here is where we pick up in the reading for today. What do you think a woman will do, who wants a man dead, but her husband won’t kill him for her? I personally find how she got this done to be disgusting. She sent her daughter to dance for the men. Seduction and allure have been the death of men for centuries. Sadly, women know that they can use their bodies to get what they want. Her dance pleased Herod and his guests. He was so pleased that he offered her whatever she wanted up to half his kingdom. Who says that?? Half of the kingdom to the girl who danced! This had to be one heck of a dance. She asked her mother, “What should I ask for?” Perfect moment for this manipulating Mom to get what she wants. She said, “Ask for the head of John the Baptist!

This King had been John the Baptist’s protector up until this point. I see how this King was more worried about what his guests would think for not keeping his oath, if he denied her, to do what was right. This is something to remember when we start to fear what other people will think. Caving to public opinion, just to save face, may just cause us to commit acts of sin against God. Could he have said, “No!” Sure, he could. But he didn’t. I can see the link between the enjoyment of a dance and the inability to say no to unrighteousness. Sin has a way of corroding the spine so that we are not able to stand when the time comes.

Starla

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