Summary: The wicked and fence-sitters have their moments but are worse off in the long term.
The Fox Turned Weasel
1. TAMPA, Fla., July 1 (UPI) --A Florida artist claims he spotted a two-headed alligator when he was out walking his dog in Tampa but Florida wildlife officials are skeptical.
Justin Alan Arnold uploaded the image on Facebook and it has been shared across the Internet many times, but folks from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission question its authenticity.
"We have serious questions about the validity of the situation," FWC spokesman Gary Morse told WFLA, referring to the photo. "By looking at a photograph, you can't really tell much," he added.
2. We humans can have more than one side to us, too. As a matter of fact, we have several different personas in different environments. Our goal is to be governed by Christian ethics in all those environments.
3. Herod Antipas was the 7th son of Herod the Great, and often called Herod. Family tradition of murder, incest, power grabbing, and paranoia.
4. Jesus referred to Herod “that fox,” (Luke 13:32), sly/dangerous. But Herod had other personas, including that of a weasel, as we shall see.
5. Herod did not have character; his wife, Herodias did have character, but it was an evil character.
Main Idea: The wicked and fence-sitters have their moments but are worse off in the long term.
I. Herod Flirted with Righteousness, Proved Himself a WEASEL, and Was Often Miserable
A. Did wrong, wanted John SILENCED to the public
B. Listened to John teach, but would not jump in with TWO FEET
• I have met many weasel-like people, some professing to believe
• Jesus shepherds sheep, not weasels. Sheep follow the shepherd.
• As society changes, we can see difference between sheep & weasels
C. Escaped life through ENTERTAINMENT
1. Sought the sensational and novel (why he was interested in Jesus)
2. Excited by Salome’s dance (name not stated)
3. Most uncommitted/moderately committed are about entertainment
4. This carries over into church and is why people do not want the Word
D. His conscience TORTURED him
1. Many psychological effects of sinful choices
2. He had married his brother’s wife (still alive), incest (Lev. 18:16)
3. He had been a fool and executed John because of it
4. Had been tricked into a public oath; reminds us of Pilate…
5. Sometimes you have to just stand up and take the consequences…
6. Unresolved guilt starts a vicious circle: Cain and Abel
7. Repentance and reconciliation is the answer, but people are proud
8. People refuse to apologize or take the sole responsibility for the wrong they have done (explain rather than ask forgiveness); carry burden of guilt
9. Sadly, false guilt has the same effects… sometimes you have to believe others
E. Why did they think Jesus was someone OTHER than the Messiah?
1. Herod thought John because of GUILT
2. David was the Messianic PROTOTYPE, and he worked no miracles
3. Moses (and the Prophet like him, Deut. 18:15) and Elijah worked MIRACLES
4. They did not understand Jesus was BOTH the Prophet and the Messiah
II. Herodias Was Consistently Hard Hearted and Enjoyed Her REVENGE
A. People want their sinful ways LEGITIMATIZED
1. Same sex marriage is a case in point
2. When people will not cave-in, they provoke hatred
B. Herodias had a GRUDGE and was in the background waiting for opportunity
Differing levels on the conflict scale; Herod just wanted to silence John’s public criticism of him, but wished no harm. Herodias would be content with nothing but John’s death. Herodias is not the kind of person you cross.
C. Sometimes such people fall into their own pit, sometimes NOT
Psalm 57:6 reads, “They set a net for my steps; my soul was bowed down. They dug a pit in my way, but they have fallen into it themselves.”
I Kings 21:11-13, “And the men of his city, the elders and the leaders who lived in his city, did as Jezebel had sent word to them. As it was written in the letters that she had sent to them, they proclaimed a fast and set Naboth at the head of the people. And the two worthless men came in and sat opposite him. And the worthless men brought a charge against Naboth in the presence of the people, saying, “Naboth cursed God and the king.” So they took him outside the city and stoned him to death with stones.”
D. Such bitter people pay in ETERNITY, but UNHAPPINESS resides in their very person in this life
E. You can run, but you can’t hide from God or YOURSELF
III. The Godly Stand in Contrast: PURPOSE Now and A SECURE Eternity
A. We want to MATTER, and, if we are sold out to God, we do
1. Studies (Gross National Happiness): Those who do not give to charities or churches are twice as likely to describe themselves as feeling “worthless” as those who did