Multiple Mistakes

Just as one lie leads to another, so one sin begets others. Herod had taken his brother Philip’s wife Herodias from him. When John the Baptist rebuked Herod for that wicked deed, the angry king threw the brave prophet into a dungeon. But the king was not the only person in the palace seething with resentment against John. Herodias, who had cooperated with Herod’s adultery, hated John for his prophetic rebuke. She sought a way to destroy this man whom both the people and the king admired so much. On Herod’s birthday, his step-daughter Salome danced before the assembled guests. We must assume that her dancing was lewd and lust-inciting, for the evil king responded with a promise to give her anything she wanted, up to half his kingdom. He quickly regretted this foolish oath, for his wife prompted Salome to demand the head of John the Baptist on a platter. Herod could have renounced his rash promise, but did not possess the courage to do so in front of all his friends. Thus, the greatest prophet in the history of Israel was sacrificed on the altar of lust, adultery, hatred, and pride. Perhaps if Herod had not cast longing eyes on his brother’s wife, none of this would have happened. “When desire [lust] has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death” (James 1:15).