TO CHEW ON: "Because John had said to Herod, 'It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife.' Therefore Herodias held it against him and wanted to kill him, but she could not." Mark 6:18,19
Herodias was a female force to be reckoned with in Herod's palace. Our reading today paints a picture of her as:
- a seducable woman. She let herself fall for Herod even though she was married to his brother Philip.
- an influential woman. She instigated Herod's arrest of John. Later her daughter came running to her for advice about what to ask for after Herod promised the girl anything following her dance routine.
- a bitter, revengeful woman who held against John the fact that he had denounced her illicit union with Herod.
- an opportunistic woman, who recognized and seized the chance to get back at John.
- a ruthless woman who demanded John's death by beheading.
Guess what—I've seen many of these evil qualities in myself. Oh, I haven't acted on them to the extent Herodias did, but have, to my shame, known myself to hang onto bitterness, imagine revenge scenarios. I have seized opportunities to get back at a person and slipped in snide asides to sway my husband and kids...
I would submit tha there may be a little of Herodias in most of us.
An attitude that is impervious to sensuous flattery, forgives wrongs, leaves revenge in God's hands, and responds with humility to criticism (deserved or not) does not come naturally to me or most of us. The Herodias in us is someone only God can change.
"Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them." - Ezekiel 36:25-27
See also 2 Corinthians 5:17 and 1 John 1:7-9
PRAYER: Dear God, please help me to put to death (i.e. crucify - Galatians 2:20) the life of carnal emotion and response that rises naturally within me. Amen.
MORE: Wisdom about women and wives
From Solomon (who had his share of experience):
"Like a gold ring in a pig's snout
is a beautiful women who shows no discretion." - Proverbs 11:22 NIV
"A wife of noble character is her husband's crown,
but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones." - Proverbs 12:4 NIV
"Houses and wealth are inherited from parents
but a prudent wife is from the Lord." - Proverbs 19:14 NIV
"A quarrelsome wife is like
a constant dripping on a rainy day'
restringing her is like restraining the wind
or grasping oil with the hand." - Proverbs 27:15,16 NIV
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations marked NIV are taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.