Mark 6:21-29: Hush my mouth!

“21 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. 22 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.’ 23 And he promised her with an oath, ‘Whatever you ask I will give you, up to half my kingdom.’ 24 She went out and said to her mother, ‘What shall I ask for?’ ‘The head of John the Baptist,’ she answered. 25 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 dish.’ 26 The king was greatly distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he did not want to refuse her. 27 So he immediately sent an executioner with orders to bring John’s head. The man went, beheaded John in the prison, 28 and brought back his head on a dish. He presented it to the girl, and she gave it to her mother. 29 On hearing of this, John’s disciples came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.” NIV UK

It’s a sad and sordid scene, full of sex and violence – the kind of scenario lots of movie-goers love, to be honest! It seems that when Herodias’ daughter danced her presumably erotic dance for Herod and his presumably drunken (or partially inebriated) guests, the door was opened into further sin. Herod ended up doing what he did not want to do:

  • Because of a relationship he shouldn’t have been in;
  • Because of a state he shouldn’t have been in;
  • Because of words he shouldn’t have spoken (26).

In these moments, Herod showed that he had a backbone of gelatine. Instead of living by his deepest convictions, he capitulated in the face of social pressure. John the Baptist died because Herod made rash promises and didn’t want to look bad in front of his dinner guests.

‘’Do not be quick with your mouth…’’ Ecclesiastes 5:2;

‘’When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise’’ Proverbs 10:19.

Be very careful what you promise. You may be unwittingly setting a trap for yourself.

PRAYER: Lord may my heart be a wise well out of which may be drawn wise words