Few and Far Between

17 For Herod himself had given orders to have John arrested, and he had him bound and put in prison. He did this because of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, whom he had married. 18 For John had been saying to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” 19 So Herodias nursed a grudge against John and wanted to kill him. But she was not able to, 20 because Herod feared John and protected him, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man. When Herod heard John, he was greatly puzzled; yet he liked to listen to him.

21 Finally the opportune time came. On his birthday Herod gave a banquet for his high officials and military commanders and the leading men of Galilee. 22 When the daughter of Herodias came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his dinner guests.

The king said to the girl, “Ask me for anything you want, and I’ll give it to you.” 23 And he promised her with an oath, “Whatever you ask I will give you, up to half my kingdom.”

24 She went out and said to her mother, “What shall I ask for?”

“The head of John the Baptist,” she answered.

25 At once the girl hurried in to the king with the request: “I want you to give me right now the head of John the Baptist on a platter.””

26 The king was greatly distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he did not want to refuse her. 27 So he immediately sent an executioner with orders to bring John’s head. The man went, beheaded John in the prison, 28 and brought back his head on a platter. He presented it to the girl, and she gave it to her mother. 29 On hearing of this, John’s disciples came and took his body and laid it in a tomb. Mark 6:17-26

This is the tragic story of John’s demise. He told the truth, was tossed into prison, and was beheaded because of an oath gone wrong. It’s easy to think that King Herod Antipas was just a victim of his own promise, but killing John the Baptist might have been the plan all along. Princess Salome was old enough to realize what had occurred between her mother and King Herod Antipas and that John was in prison because he spoke out against the relationship.

Salome danced sensually before the king and his court, and knew it would please the king immensely. She also must have known that her mother was ruthless and this would be a golden opportunity to “save face”.

Historians disagree about motives in all of this though it does provide us with truth played out by millions of people in authority: all is not what it seems in Government and politicians will do what they can to “save their own skin.”

Pick a local, regional, state, or federal government. Eventually a politician will do, as the Bible says in the Old Testament, what is right in his own eyes. The longer a politician stays in power, the more ways he or she can be corrupted by power, money, or sex. The truly honest politicians are few and far between.

But God certainly knows how to tame and controls the politicians. He’s been doing it for thousands of years.

We need to pray that politicians do what is best for people and not themselves. They are human too and need God too. Pray that God will grab them and stir them like He’s never done before.

Fortunately, the God of all Creation has not been caught off guard at any of the shenanigans or corruption He sees. Pray that He will intervene in the hearts and ways of these leaders.

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