“Because of his oaths and his guests he commanded it be given.” Matthew 14:9
King Herod made a fools move—trading anything within his power for one dance from the queen’s daughter. I always thought this story a good lesson in taking extreme caution when making promises. With that said—I also believe there’s much more to this fatal act.
Not only was Herod easily played, he proved himself a coward by cowering to the pleasing of the crowd. No one had the clout to force Herod into following through with beheading an innocent man. He was king—he could have declared anything! Herod’s indecent, horrific decision was all for personal exaltation.
God forgive us for the poor choices we’ve made—purely to save face.
What is it about our Christian faith that allows shame to keep us from coming clean in front of brothers and sisters? To admit, before making that disastrous move, “I’m struggling with what I’m thinking, what I’ve done. A part of me wants to turn around, do what’s right, but I’m afraid yawl will look down on me. Think me a weakling.”
Guess what? We’re all weak in the knees. To think ourselves above reproach, is a dangerous miscalculation of the human heart. No one keeps all their ducks in a row. None are infallible. This is not an excuse to sin, God forbid. It’s a call to keep calling on the body of Christ! And for the lot of us to grow into a safe place to land.
Keep growing in humility and don’t ever stop!
Remember king David? “Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Your sight.” (Psalm 51:4) How about the apostle Paul? “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.” (1 Timothy 1:15) [all emphasis mine]
I so embrace these powerful men for pouring their bloody hearts out before a holy God. No excuses. Just repentance. They weren’t afraid of what prominent people might say, caring first and foremost in fearing the only One who has power to throw both body and soul into that fiery hole we all try to pretend doesn’t exist.
There’s no shame in taking blame. It’s hiding and conniving, posing and pretending we’re someone heroic, when really, we’re just a tyrant with an artificial backbone.
“For pride is a spiritual cancer: it eats up the very possibility of love, or contentment, or even common sense.” ~C. S. Lewis
“Pride first, then the crash, but humility is precursor to honor.” Proverbs 18:12 MSG