WHEN WE REFUSE TO LISTEN
When Herod heard about Jesus, he said, “John, the man I beheaded, has come back from the dead.” For Herod had sent soldiers to arrest and imprison John as a favor to Herodias. She had been his brother Philip’s wife, but Herod had married her. John had been telling Herod, “It is against God’s law for you to marry your brother’s wife.” So Herodias bore a grudge against John and wanted to kill him. But without Herod’s approval she was powerless, for Herod respected John; and knowing that he was a good and holy man, he protected him. Herod was greatly disturbed whenever he talked with John, but even so, he liked to listen to him. Herodias’s chance finally came on Herod’s birthday. He gave a party for his high government officials, army officers, and the leading citizens of Galilee. Then his daughter, also named Herodias, came in and performed a dance that greatly pleased Herod and his guests. “Ask me for anything you like,” the king said to the girl, “and I will give it to you.” He even vowed, “I will give you whatever you ask, up to half my kingdom!” She went out and asked her mother, “What should I ask for?” Her mother told her, “Ask for the head of John the Baptist!” So the girl hurried back to the king and told him, “I want the head of John the Baptist, right now, on a tray!” Then the king deeply regretted what he had said; but because of the vows he had made in front of his guests, he couldn’t refuse her. So he immediately sent an executioner to the prison to cut off John’s head and bring it to him. The soldier beheaded John in the prison, brought his head on a tray, and gave it to the girl, who took it to her mother. When John’s disciples heard what had happened, they came to get his body and buried it in a tomb.
Mark 6:16-29 NLT
The Gospel of Mark gives a detailed account of the death of John the Baptist. He informs us that John had denounced Herod because he had divorced his wife and married his half-brother’s wife. John pointed this out as sin. Herodias, Herod’s second wife, was furious and wanted to kill John. But Herod had a fearful respect for John and protected him. He recognized John was a holy man. Herod didn’t fully understand John’s teachings, but he liked to listen to him. Interesting, there was something in the heart of Herod that was drawn to John. Instead of removing the man who condemned his behavior, Herod protected him. Herodias plotted to get rid of John. She plans her time when Herod is celebrating with his leading men. Herodias sends her daughter out to entertain the men. Herod loves the dance and offers her a generous gift of her choosing. She asked her mom who told her to get the head of John the Baptist. And that is how John dies. How wicked the human heart can be. What mother would send her daughter to dance for a group of men partying? Why did Herodias hate John the Baptist so much? There was some deep-seated evil in Herodias’ heart. She had chosen to refuse the message of John the Baptist. She did not like someone telling her she was wrong. Our hearts can become very hard when we refuse to listen to correction. It is very easy to begin to think of ourselves as above correction. We justify and rationalize our actions. Yet each time we justify and rationalize we allow our hearts to become hardened. It is a dangerous thing to have a hard heart. We reach a point we no longer sense the conviction of the Holy Spirit. That is when we begin to do things, we thought we would never do. None of us are very far from depravity. It begins when we refuse to listen to correction.
Holy Spirit help me to always have a tender heart. Help me to listen to Your voice and respond correctly.
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