An Herodias Heart

At that time Herod the tetrarch heard the report about Jesus and said to his servants, “This is John the Baptist; he is risen from the dead, and therefore these powers are at work in him.” For Herod had laid hold of John and bound him, and put him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife. Because John had said to him, “It is not lawful for you to have her.” And although he wanted to put him to death, he feared the multitude, because they counted him as a prophet. But when Herod’s birthday was celebrated, the daughter of Herodias danced before them and pleased Herod. Therefore he promised with an oath to give her whatever she might ask. So she, having been prompted by her mother, said, “Give me John the Baptist’s head here on a platter.” And the king was sorry; nevertheless, because of the oaths and because of those who sat with him, he commanded it to be given to her. So he sent and had John beheaded in prison. And his head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, and she brought it to her mother. Then his disciples came and took away the body and buried it, and went and told Jesus.” Matthew 14:1-14 (NKJV)

As women we have power to influence our families beyond our own comprehension. Our actions and reactions create a ripple effect in the lives of those around us; our words, moods and attitudes affect and reflect in the lives of those closest to us.

When we think of women who have graced the pages of the Word of God, we are often drawn to women like Mary, Deborah and Lydia. But in today’s post, I’d like to sneak a peek at a lady who was anything but a lady.

Like something from a modern day soap opera, Herodias left her husband, Herod Phillip, to marry his brother, Herod Antipas. We’re not told why, but we know from history that their whole family was a royal mess.

Herodias was a woman who was well aware of her power and she wielded it around like a weapon of mass destruction. She leaves us with a long list of lessons on the wife we don’t want to be, but today, I want to reflect on just one. Herodias was a manipulator. When she didn’t like what she heard, she began to devise a plan to kill the messenger. When she knew her husband wouldn’t join in on her grand design of the murderous kind, she decided to take things into her own hands and begin manipulating the circumstances until she got what she wanted.

At the expense of her daughter’s virtue and character, she not only taught her daughter how to become a master at manipulation, she also taught her that her virtue had no value and her body could buy her way through life.

Herodias failed miserably as a wife and a mother…all because she didn’t like hearing the truth. She mistakenly thought that silencing her accuser would also silence her seared conscience. Unfortunately, she found murder only intensified the shouts of accusation that hardened her face as well as her heart.

We may never go as far as Herodias to manipulate our circumstances, but how often have we taken things into our own hands? How many times have we pushed things through, changed things around, told half-truths and even out-right lied to get our way? How often have we plotted a pay-back scheme as a means of retaliation for our husbands failures?

It’s never wise to want our way so much that we’re willing to order our own steps instead of allowing God to do so. It’s never wise to refuse rebuke or devise details that would set our own circumstantial wheels in motion.

Today, if you’re trying to manipulate your circumstances in any way, shape or form, I want to strongly encourage you to be patient and to pray instead. Don’t allow yourself to fall into the same category as Herodias by trying to push your way through. The end never justifies the means when it compromises our character and our fellowship with God.

You can avoid having an Herodias heart by being willing to listen to godly counsel, seek God’s face…and then wait. Just wait. He, alone, knows how to work out His perfect plan for your life…so just wait on God and live to honor Him in the meantime. He will help you soar over your circumstances with wings like eagles. He will help you run and not be weary. He will perfect that which concerns you. So, please wait on God to order your steps, dear one…wait!

Are you willing to listen to rebuke? What is it that you are having a hard time waiting on? What are some ways we try to manipulate things?

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