By Mark Shields
This day with God will be amazing because things fall into place because of His grace. Because of our Savior, there will be a change in behavior; following where He leads and doing good deeds; accepting the truth and teaching our youth; learning His ways and giving Him praise.
Reading today in Mark 6:14-29, the ruler of Galilee who was the son of Herod the Great came from a family with a mixed up past. *Herod the Great had massacred children in Bethlehem and killed three of his sons. One of his sons, the one written about in today’s passage had stolen his half-brother’s wife named Herodias and divorced his own wife.
Herodias had a grudge against John and wanted him dead so John was put in prison. She had a grudge because John the Baptist had been saying to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife” (v. 18).
In today’s passage, we are told that Herodias’s daughter danced for Herod and his dinner guest on his birthday. Herod was pleased so he offered the daughter of Herodias anything she wanted. When she consulted with her mother on what to ask for, she said “The head of John the Baptist” (v. 24).
The King was distressed because he had feared John the Baptist and protected him. He had been greatly puzzled by John; yet liked to listen to him (v. 20). He believed John was a righteous and holy man so he didn’t want to kill John.
At the same time, Herod wanted to be popular with his high officials, military leaders, and leaders of Galilee so he had his executioner carry out the order to bring John’s head on a platter to the daughter of Herodias.
Herod would be haunted by his choice of popularity rather than choosing what was right. As the days go by, Herod hears about Jesus healing people, casting out demons, and performing other miracles. Herod begins to believe that Jesus was really John the Baptist who had risen from the dead.
Upon reflection, today’s passage brought up a thought about the photo below which is of the remains of an old Fort near Abilene Texas called Fort Phantom Hill. The only structures still standing are the stone fire places and the stone jail house. The rest of the fort was destroyed by a fire.
Stone will last a lifetime and beyond. Being liked and well thought of is only short term but the victory for the causes of God is everlasting. If we build our life with the stones of God’s solid principles, they will last for eternity.
This day with You Lord, we are thrown into the fire and face pressure each day so help us to make decisions using the vision You give us through Your Word and embrace the discipline of Your Way. We choose to follow Your solid principles that last forever. We follow grace and truth because with grace there is forgiveness and with truth there is a path to follow. We are thankful for today’s passage, trust in the Holy Spirit’s instructions, and constantly desire to grow in faith. Amen.
*Nicholes, Lou. “Recent Commentaries.” Family-Times.net – Devotional Commentary Index. N.p., n.d. Web. <http://www.family-times.net/commentary/>.