The Party

by Andy Wood on May 8, 2010

in Esteem, Gamblers, Life Currency, LV Alter-egos, LV Cycle, Waiting

There’s a reason you wouldn’t name your precious baby boy “Herod.”  He made Judas look like a choirboy, and Peter look like, uh, the Pope.

Herod Antipas was the kind of guy who would torture your cat for no apparent reason.  A thug and a bully, Herod was a manipulator and would betray his own family if it meant getting more power.  The only thing sacred to this man was whatever he wanted in the moment.

Herod’s first wife was an Arabian princess.  No joke.  Can you imagine a more romantic idea for a lifetime companion in the Middle East?  Apparently Herod could.  He sent the princess packing back to King Daddy, and – get this – stole his brother’s wife.  Who, by the way, was also his niece.

Ewwwww.

Jesus called Herod a fox.  John the Baptist called him an adulterer.  Jesus escaped, but John the Baptist was not so fortunate.  The one thing that would get Herod’s attention when nothing else did was the whim and wishes of Herodias, his niece/wife/shackmate.  And Herodias wouldn’t be happy until that meddling prophet was in chains or in the ground.  So out came the irons and into the dungeon went the prophet.

Happy Birthday to Me

When this Tetrarch of Galilee threw a party, it was quite an affair.  And when Herod invited you to a party, you were sure to go – if for no other reason, so you could keep an eye on him.

On this particular occasion, Herod was celebrating his birthday.  He felt sure that all the military officers and bigwigs in Galilee would want to celebrate with him.  So he put on one big soiree, complete with music, unlimited drinks and entertainment.

Um, about that entertainment…

In a room freely flowing with alcohol and testosterone, Herod called for the show to begin.  Boy was he in for a surprise.  In breezed his own stepdaughter.   And she was smokin’ hot.

Up came the music.  And the little-girl-grown-up began to dance.  And suffice it to say, she wasn’t doing the Holy Ghost Hokey Pokey.

To say that Herod was pleased is putting it mildly.

He.  Wanted.  Her.

Frenzied by lust and emboldened by drunkenness, Herod was about to show the homeboys how it was done.  When the cheers and the music died down, the king said, “Ask me for anything, and I’ll give it to you.”

Let the games begin.

Hee hee.  Aw, your majesty, you’re just saying that.

“I swear it by the gods.  I’ll give you anything you ask, up to half my kingdom.”

More cheers.  More laughter.  More desire.

“Hang on just a sec,” she said, and made a beeline for… uh oh.

Momentarily she returned, and mentally the king went into his counting house.  How much was this going to cost him?  No matter, it was worth it.

The party noise abated, and everybody wanted to hear what would come out of that pretty little head.

Smiling seductively, she said to Herod:  “I want the head of The Baptizer served to me on a platter.  And I want it now.”

Nobody was laughing or cheering now.  You could have heard a camel hair drop.

Remember this was Herod-by-God-Antipas.  He could do whatever he wanted (at least there in Galilee).  He could have dismissed her as ridiculous.  He could have just said, “I’ve had one too many” and sent everybody home.  And anyway, truth be told, the Tetrarch sorta liked the little bugger.  John was a good preacher, and like a lot of people today, Herod loved good preaching.

Just one problem.  Larger than Herod’s angst or fear, larger than his desire to please his wife or have his stepdaughter, Herod Antipas was a power-hungry egotist.  And he would not be shown up in his own house, at his own party.  So he made a decision that would haunt him for the rest of his life.  He called for the executioner.

Turn out the lights…

Here was a man who was seven kinds of wicked.  And yet even the evil king felt obligated to keep his word.

What does that tell you about a God of love and truth?

If moral scum like Herod would risk being haunted the rest of his life by guilt and shame in order to keep his promise, how much more should I be willing to trust the God of Heaven, who offered me ALL of His kingdom, to keep His?

And how much more should you?

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