Head on a platter

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jb-on-platter

Scripture: Mark 6:17 …Herod himself had sent men who arrested John, bound him, and put him in prison on account of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, because Herod had married her…19 And Herodias had a grudge against him, and wanted to kill him. But she could not, 20 for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he protected him. …21 But an opportunity came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his courtiers and officers and for the leaders of Galilee. 22 When his daughter Herodias came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests; and the king said to the girl, “Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will give it.”…” 24 She went out and said to her mother, “What should I ask for?” She replied, “The head of John the baptizer.” 25 Immediately she rushed back to the king and requested, “I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.” 26 The king was deeply grieved; yet out of regard for his oaths and for the guests, he did not want to refuse her.

Observation: This is a sordid tale describing the death of John the Baptist. It was not a dignified way to die – at the request of a young girl whose mother put her up to it. One might have hoped for something better for John. I’m guessing John prayed fervently for God to free him from captivity to continue his calling as a prophet, but it was not to be.

Application: If God did not spare John the Baptist from a violent ending, I’ve no reason to believe God would spare me from hardship, or even death. That said, God often comes to the aid of his people. The bible is full of stories to substantiate this fact – yet God does not always do so. Why not? I don’t know.

Prayer: Lord, many of your children are struggling today. Come to our aid as only you can do. And if you do not, give us grace to embrace what lies ahead. Amen.

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