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May 9, 2021 | Chris Baselice
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“Then an opportune day came when Herod on his birthday gave a feast for his nobles, the high officers, and the chief men of Galilee. And when Herodias’ daughter herself came in and danced, and pleased Herod and those who sat with him, the king said to the girl, ‘Ask me whatever you want, and I will give it to you.’ He also swore to her, ‘Whatever you ask me, I will give you, up to half my kingdom.’ So she went out and said to her mother, ‘What shall I ask?’ And she said, ‘The head of John the Baptist!’ Immediately she came in 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.’”—Mark 6:21–25 (NKJV)
Herod was where nobody should ever be. He respected John the Baptist’s stance against his sin, but not enough do anything about it. He was conflicted, divided, and half-hearted. That’s always a miserable and dangerous place to be, especially here as he makes a public vow to give his stepdaughter anything she wants as a reward for entertaining his party guests with her arousing dancing. This is all kinds of wrong, already . . . and it only gets worse!
Uncertain of what she should ask for, she asks her mother, Herodias, what her response should be. Herodias wasn’t conflicted about John at all. She wanted him dead a long time ago, and this seemed to be the perfect opportunity to not just kill the prophet, but to indelibly humiliate him and all he stood for. She tells her daughter to ask for John’s head on a platter!
We can only imagine the atmospheric shift at this feast as these words reached Herod’s ears. Watch his response to them: “And the king was exceedingly sorry; yet, because of the oaths and because of those who sat with him, he did not want to refuse her. Immediately the king sent an executioner and commanded his head to be brought. And he went and beheaded him in prison, brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl; and the girl gave it to her mother. When his disciples heard of it, they came and took away his corpse and laid it in a tomb” (Mark 6:26–29 NKJV).
True to his nature, John was obedient to the will of God by speaking out against sin. And true to his own nature, Herod caved to the will of man by doing what he knew to be a grave injustice. For fear of looking bad in front of his partygoing cronies, Herod does the abominable and has John beheaded. This is “sin’s perfect storm.” Herod took John’s head and lost his soul in the process, because this act would forever rob him of any integrity, dignity, honor, or moral authority until his inevitable death.
Such is the nature of sin—it only robs us in the end. When sin in its lesser form (in this case Herod’s compromised convictions) isn’t dealt with, it only leads to greater sin (murdering God’s prophet). If this doesn’t get our attention concerning sin’s powerful consequences then what possibly could? Sin will always get more out of us than we will ever get out of it, which is why we can’t afford to harbor or secretly cherish it. That only leads to worse sin with worse consequences. Deal with what you know you need to deal with now, because you don’t want to deal with the perfect storm that sin will produce down the road!
Pause: What principle of sin do we see in Herod’s example here? Why is it important to deal with sin today?
Practice: Yesterday, we went before the Lord in confession and repentance. Today, if you need help, seek it out! Connect with a trusted Christian friend, mentor, or pastor about your struggle and ask for guidance, accountability, and help. We all need it; there’s no shame in it. It’s biblical, necessary, and shows a heart of humility and genuine desire to live a godly life!
Pray: Father, give me wisdom, courage, and strength to deal with sin today before it becomes something worse tomorrow.
Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.