Summary: When the hardship of life comes your way, tell it to Jesus. He is our Rock.
Intro. This has been a year of great grace. God has been good.
This has been a year of turmoil, people concerned over the economy, even though we know God is in control. This year has been a year of defeat in some sense, because we have seen wicked people be elected to our high offices across the land that do not value life or morality. On a personal level, for many, it has been a year of pain. Loved one passed away. Someone close has turned on you. Families in trouble.
Sometimes there does not appear to be a good answer. But there is!
The Story we read tonight is a sad one. The sadness of the story, is almost overshadowed by the vast contrast between a godly man and a depraved family.
I. Herod - A Fearful Man - A miserable state - 1 John 4:18 "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love." “Torment” here means pain and punishment, it is the same word used to describe hell in Matthew 25:46 "And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal."
A. He had a Fear of Retribution - vs. 2
B. He had a Fear of Rejection - vs. 3 He did not want to be rejected by his adulterous wife
C. He had a Fear of Revolt - vs. 5, 10
1. He had kept John alive, not out of consideration, but fear of the people.
2. When he killed John, he did it in secret.
- He sent someone to do it ( sent, sent an executioner)
- He was not present to oversee the fulfillment of the sentence of death.
II. Herodious - A Frightening Woman - She could be described by Proverbs 4:16 "For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall."
A. She was Defiled - vs. 3
1. She was defiled in her relationship.
2. She was defiled in her instruction - she defiled her own daughter.
Sin will cause you to sacrifice the things closest to you! This was her own daughter that she sent to be inappropriate before Herod and those with him. Then she had her daughter conspire to murder! Sin will cause people to do things unimaginable.
B. She was Deceitful - vs. 8 - it was all a plan - “she being before instructed”
Spurgeon said, “Man may sin by proxy, but they will be guilty in person.”
1. Her Daughter was sent to be Seductive - RWP says that this dance was one of “shameful exhibition of lewd dancing” - used Herods weakness to deceive.
2. Her Daughter was sent to be Savage in her request. This young lady, named Salome, could have asked for wealth or other things that would have made her life easier - but she followed the deceit of her mother. Kill John!
3. He Daughter was sent to be Scheming - shame on parents that teach their children to survive by dishonesty! (It is just little lies, no one will know!)
C. She was Disgusting - vs. 11
1. Bring me the head of the one I hate!
2. She Hated John for the Message of Truth.
A Platter was brought with blood dripping from its sides. Inside was the severed head of the man of God.
SIN WILL MAKE YOU ENJOY PUTRID THINGS!
III. John the Baptist - A Fervent Witness
A great prophet (OT or NT?) - Malachi 3:1 "Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts." Matthew 11:10 "For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.’ (Transitional) Fervent Preacher!
A. He was Clear in His Message - vs. 4
1. The Message was one of Fearlessness.
2. The Message was one of Facts.
- It was a call to repentance - Mt 3:1-2
- It was a cry of rebuke -Herod married his brother’s wife, Herodias
- It was a cry of righteousness - He did not compromise his principles.
John was willing to go to prison and ultimately die for the Word of God!
B. He was Committed in His Ministry - The Words of Jesus - Luke 7:28 "For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he."