This week in my devotional I learned about a woman named Herodias.
I feel like I should start off by saying, this has probably been the most difficult post I have done so far of the different women of the Bible that I have been learning about. Herodias is not a likable lady at all. The main thing about her that I learned for myself is that I hope and pray that I am absolutely nothing like her. That being said, God tells her story for a reason, so there is obviously something valuable to learn from her life. So let me share with you now a glimpse of what the Bible has to say about Herodias.
King Herod heard about this, for Jesus' name had become well known. Some were saying, "John the Baptist has been raised from the dead, and that is why miraculous powers are at work in him."
Others said, "He is Elijah." And still others claimed, "He is a prophet, like one of the prophets of long ago."
But when Herod heard this, he said, "John, the man I beheaded, has been raised from the dead!"
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.
For John had been saying to Herod, "It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife."
So Herodias nursed a grudge against John and wanted to kill him. But she was not able to, 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.
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.
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."
And he promised her with an oath, "Whatever you ask I will give you, up to half my kingdom."
She went out and said to her mother, "What shall I ask for?" "The head of John the Baptist," she answered.
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."
The king was greatly distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he did not want to refuse her.
So he immediately sent an executioner with orders to bring John's head. The man went, beheaded John in the prison,
and brought back his head on a platter. He presented it to the girl, and she gave it to her mother.
On hearing of this, John's disciples came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.
Like I said, not likable at all......
As I was reading about Herodias the main things that spoke to me were her family and her legacy.
Herodias was the granddaughter of Herod the Great (not to be confused with her husband King Herod). Herod the Great (her grandfather) is the same Herod that wanted to kill the baby Jesus.
When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. "Get up," he said, "take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him."
You always hear the phrase, "The apple never falls far from the tree." That is definitely true of this family.
I realized while reading this story, exactly how much of an impact my life has on my own children, and that my life will ultimately impact my grandchildren and great grandchildren as well. That thought is overwhelming to me.
The choices that I make today have a lasting effect. My triumphs as well as my mistakes will all affect my children and their future children.
The Lord is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation.
Herodias let her hatred for the John the Baptist rule her heart, which in turn ruled her decisions.....With the murderous example of her grandfather, King Herod, though, she probably thought it was the best way to handle the situation. She probably thought it was her right.
I realize though, that Herodias could have made a different choice. She could have chosen to follow a path other than her grandfather's. I know that I have made many mistakes as a parent, and I am sure that I will make many more. But I pray that my children will learn from my mistakes. If I own up to my mistakes and apologize to my children when I have done wrong, they can learn that it is important to take responsibility for their own actions.
We will all make mistakes, but it is how we handle those mistakes that will make the difference.
Herodias not only acted like her grandfather, she brought her daughter along for the ride. A new generation of evil. She used her daughter Salome to get what she wanted. It obviously did not concern her at all that her daughter would be asking for a man to have his head literally chopped off and served up on a platter. To her it was no different than asking for a new purse or a new pair of shoes.
I pray that I never encourage my children to make the same mistakes I've made. Let alone take them to a whole different level.
As I'm writing this, I realize, my words are so clumsy. It is just so difficult for me to wrap my brain around Herodias and her actions. I am not perfect by any stretch of the imagination; it's just that the thought of asking one of my children to request the head of my enemy is unfathomable to me. So to those of you reading this, I apologize for my inability to say anything encouraging in this post. This has just been a tough one for me.
Like I said earlier, the words that stood out to me in my thoughts upon reading about Herodias were family and legacy.
I looked up the meanings of both of these words in the dictionary.
family: two or more people who share goals and values, have long-term commitments to one another, and reside usually in the same dwelling place
legacy: something handed down from an ancestor or a predecessor or from the past
Families are made up of people sharing the same goals and values, handing them down to the next generation..........
What goals and values are you sharing with your family?
What will be your family's legacy?
Here is a movie portrayal of Herod, Herodias, and Salome as she dances for the king.
This clip shows you an extremely dysfunctional family that left a legacy of pride, selfishness, and murder.
Lord, I pray that my children and their children's children will know that Shannon and I loved and served only You; I long for that to be our family's legacy.
"But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord."