Lessons from Herodias

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Herodias is a name you will not hear when great wives of the bible are mentioned. She was a vindictive and ruthless woman willing to do whatever necessary to get her way. There is nothing in Herodias’ character a woman would desire to mirror.  This does not mean correlations of her character and our character cannot be drawn.  Herodias provides an important lesson through her conduct in her marriage.   

Herodias became enraged when John (the Baptist) accused her marriage with Herod to be unlawful.

Who would dare say anything so brazen about the king and his wife?

Who could get away with implying that the King’s marriage was incestuous and unlawful?

John could.

While surprising John was able to make these bold statements without fear of punishment from the King Herod. Herodias become infuriated when she learned her husband had no intention on punishing John. Having been offended once by John and a second time by her husband’s inaction she decided to take action. However, as the bible states that she intended to kill John but lacked the power to get the act done.

Increasingly frustrated, angry and possibly feeling betrayed by her husband’s lack of defense on her part, she devised her own way. She would manipulate her husband to force his hand to her will. Her tool was her own daughter; Salome.  She planned her scheme on the night of Herod’s birthday party.   

While Herod was drunk, Herodias had her daughter dance seductively for the king. There was no question that Herodias knew her husband would be pleased by this display of hedonism. In fact, he was so pleased he promised with an oath that Salome could have anything she wanted. This was the moment Herodias had planned for. Prompted by her mother, Salome asked for John the Baptist’s head on a plate. Too ashamed to refuse after promising to grant any request, Herod reluctantly had John arrested and killed.  Later the head of John the Baptist was brought to Salome on a plate.  She promptly gave it to her mother.  Herodias got the result she wanted despite the consequences, feelings or thoughts of her husband or daughter. Herodias could certainly be proud of herself that day, not only did she get rid of John but she also got even with her husband.

Is there someone like John coming in between you and your husband? Have you seen to it that a friend of your husband’s that you did not like would never show his face around your house again? Anytime you force your husband’s hand to bend to your will you are acting like Herodias. If you are forcing his hand on the decision of new carpet to which school your children attend you are not being a Godly wife. Have you used your children to force him to concede to your plan?  We may think we are acting in our husband’s best interest by encouraging him to take action against a boss or his mother, yet we need to examine our hearts and God’s will. 

Let’s face it, our husband’s will eventually make decisions we do not like or may disappoint us with inaction. In these situations we need to remain faithful and act in accordance with what is pleasing to God. We need to trust that God will guide and convict our husbands properly. Most importantly we need to lift our husbands up in prayer continually.  While there will be times our husbands stumble or make decisions unpleasing to us or even the Lord, it is not our role to manipulate him.  

Is there anyone’s head you want on a plate? 

In Service to Christ,


Brenda said...

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