Friday, August 5, 2011

God Does Not Leave Sin Unpunished

When John was beheaded, all the seventy people Jesus had sent out with the gospel had also just come back to debrief with Him.

They were very tired, having not even had time to eat. It was Passover, there were many more thousands of people than usual in Jerusalem at that time. Emotions were already high. John’s death made matters even worse.

They had to have felt shock that John had been killed in such a terrible way, grief that they had not been with him, anguish over God allowing a good man to die and a bad man to prosper, sorrow and loss over such a dear friend.

What crash of emotions after the heady successes they had experienced in the mission field! So often it happens that way, after a spiritual success Satan rips the rug out.
* What to do you do when something knocks you to your knees?
John’s disciples came and took his body and buried it, laying it in a tomb. Then they went and told Jesus. (Matthew 14:12, Mark 6:29, blended gospels)
John’s disciples knew they could come to Jesus in their trouble and sorrow, knowing He would give them His deep understanding and loving sympathy.
When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place (Matthew 14:13)
At first glance, you might miss the significance of Jesus' response. Let it sink in.

Herod had many opportunities to change, but refused until it was too late.

Jesus moved out of Herod’s province and into Philip’s province next door, taking the gospel message with Him.

Not long after this, Herod was badly defeated in war by his ex-father-in-law, the king of Petra. (Remember him? Herod had quickly divorced the king of Petra's daughter so he could move Herodias into the palace.)
In His judgment, God allows sin to run its course
In fact Rome had to come bail Herod out. Many people saw this as God’s judgement against Herod. Years later his nephew, Herod Agrippa (who also happened to be Herodias’ brother) gained control of Judea and was crowned a king.

Herodias made Herod so miserable about not becoming a king too, that he went to Rome to ask Caligula, the new emperor, to make him a king. Instead, Herod was stripped of his power and his wealth, and exiled to the savages of Gaul for the rest of his life.

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