Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Night John The Baptist Died

Finally, one night, Herodias recognized her opportunity. It was right before the Passover, and Herod was having a big party. There was drinking and carousing, and high spirits.

Herodias knew she could manipulate her daughter into getting what she wanted. So she sent Salome into the party to do some pole dancing, hoping a drunk and lustful Herod would make rash promises.

He did.

There are two lessons for us here.
1) The first is from Herod. He was distressed. But his pride and his lust for Salome got the better of him
– He didn’t want to appear weak in front of his drinking buddies,
- And the apostle Mark says he didn’t want to refuse his stepdaughter,
So he immediately sent out the execution order.

What do you do in the heat of the moment?
* What influences your decision-making process?
* Do you step back?
* Do you pray?
* Do you think the situation through with biblical principles in mind?

Herod didn’t take time to consider the consequences, he acted immediately.

He wanted to appear powerful, more powerful even than God’s prophet.

He wanted to appear a man of decision.

He wanted to take young Salome to his bed.

His conscience was bothering him, but he was used to indulging his emotions and his appetites, even when it was wrong.

2) The second lesson comes from Herodias. What a powerful influence you and I have on our children!

There’s no hint Herodias’ conscience was bothering her. In her world sex was how you got what you wanted, so she was teaching her daughter the ropes.

Remember that Salome had grown up in the decadent world of the Roman wealthy and nobility: debauched parties, open prostitution of girls, boys and women, gladiator games.

Sex in the bath houses, orgies, "toga parties," these were all part of the notorious ancient social scene. Watching people be sliced through, heads flying off, wild animals tearing victims to shreds was part of her regular entertainment. Dancing for her father and his lascivious party boys, then receiving John’s head on a platter may have just been one more thrilling episode in her life.

What are you and I teaching our kids without even thinking about it?
--> What are they learning about sex and violence from t.v.,
...from movies,
......from video games?

Clearly the culture of Rome had corrupted and desensitized Herodias and her daughter. What are we letting the culture around us desensitize us to?

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