History That Repeats Its Self…

History That Repeats Its Self…

“17For Herod had sent and seized John, and bound him in prison for the sake of Hero’di-as, his brother Philip’s wife; because he had married her. 18For John said to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” 19And Hero’di-as had a grudge against him, and wanted to kill him. But she could not, 20for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and kept him safe. When he heard him, he was much perplexed; and yet he heard him gladly. 21But an opportunity came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his courtiers and officers and the leading men of Galilee. 22For when Hero’di-as’ daughter came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests; and the king said to the girl, “Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will grant it.” 23And he vowed to her, “Whatever you ask me, I will give you, even half of my kingdom.” 24And she went out, and said to her mother, “What shall I ask?” And she said, “The head of John the baptizer.” 25And she came in immediately with haste to the king, and asked, saying, “I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.” 26And the king was exceedingly sorry; but because of his oaths and his guests he did not want to break his word to her. 27And immediately the king sent a soldier of the guard and gave orders to bring his head. He went and beheaded him in the prison, 28and brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl; and the girl gave it to her mother. 29When his disciples heard of it, they came and took his body, and laid it in a tomb. ”  ( Mark 6:17)

It is said that those who do not study history, are doomed to repeat it.  Unfortunately, it seems that this is not always true.
Take for instance, Israel, After the Exodus, Moses spent the rest of his whole life watching the fledgling nation fall from the grace of God, sin and error, and he would stand time after time and remind them of all that God had done for them.  Possibly for a  time they would return for a time. They would eventually fall back into sin and error, and then Moses would have to again remind them of what God had done for them, and what they were called to do.

Time has not changed this pattern what so ever.  Jesus would find the disciples falling into error, and He would over and over again teach them, remind them, and tell them the things that they needed to hear, so they understood.

This world, is not our home, but we are called to make it better, to tend to its needs, to work to make it better.  LIke the parable of the talents, we can not afford to just sit back and do nothing, and hide until the Master returns.. believing that He will be pleased that we have kept our faith to ourselves.. that we have done nothing overtly bad…hidden away from as much of the world as we can manage.

No, our world is over run with sin.. murder, abortion, euthenasia, greed, abuses of every type and size, violence, and not one bit of it is new or different.  In the time before Christ, most of these things were being done.  Just like today, there were times in history that these things were even considered right, and socially acceptable !

Consider the case of John the Baptist.  He found himself in a position were he was faced with a choice.  He was asked whether adultery was right, and if he could take his brothers wife for his own pleasure.    We know from scripture that John had moments of faith that was shaken, but in the end John stood firmly in his faith, and spoke the truth to Herod, who quite literally held Johns life in his hand for the entire time.

And lets look at Herod.. Herod was king, and he was not a king of virtue or strength.  We already know he wanted his brothers wife, but at this feast he had the same opportunity that John had, to stand on what was right.  He could have declined his daughters request.  He could have used that opportunity to teach not only his daughter but his subjects and friends about what is right and wrong.  He could have used the opportunity to examine how it is that God would view his actions, as well as his subjects, but instead, he gave in to social pressures.  He gave the example not only to his daughter, but to others that it was fine to do what is pleasurable, and give in to those things that make us feel good for the moment, instead of what is right.

The Herod ordered that John be killed.  His head to be brought before others on a platter, to be mocked and ridiculed, presented as a present to bring joy to his daughter.  It is obvious that the daughter did not really want John’s head, she only wanted to do what pleased her father.

THen there is Herodias, Phillip’s wife, whose sole desire was to do what pleased herself.  She wanted to be with Herod, and John was in the way, and not only was he in the way by telling Herod what was right, she was afraid that Herod might listen, so she removed the obsticles she saw in the way of what she really wanted.

Lets take a modern view of this story.

The culture of death is a plague that is rampant across the world.  Abortions that are performed on demand.  Like the beheading of  John the Baptist, there are children who are gifts from God, but who are murdered, because they are unwanted, unwelcomed as the gifts that they are.  They are killed because they are an inconvenient truth.

We are seeing cases where the elderly, and mentally ill are being murdered or talked into suicide, because society tells them they are not wanted, they are inconvenient, and they are a burden.

THere are those like Herodias, who stand publicly for those who would see this continue, and advance the cause of getting rid of those “inconveniences” fighting to make their brand of sin, “good and right”.   Their hearts black with hedonistic desires.
There are even people who stand in the public square stating publicly their faith in God, while at the same time stating that their faith tells them that what they are doing is right.    This is satan at work in our world.

God and the church do not stand for or teach sin.  The church teaches truth. It teaches that ALL life is sacred from the moment of  conception until natural death.  There is no equivocation, there is no justification, there is no rationalizing.  It is just the truth.
Lastly, there is John.  John who has spent his entire adult life working in the church, leading souls, doing everything that was right and good, yet look at what happens to him !    This is another example for us to take to heart.  John spoke the truth,
no matter what happened he spoke the truth.

In our day to day lives we eventually are faced with choices that come in conflict with our faith.  We are constantly bombarded with demands from parts of society that we live in, to “give in” and give up, and let go of those antiquated beliefs that do not apply in todays world.   Our faith calls for us to make sacrifices, big and small, to live the faith that we profess.  LIke John we may sacrifice some of our freedom to do things.  Like John, we have to be willing to die to the world around us, to die to the “self” and live for Christ.    We have to be willing to give up small things in order to gain the greatest thing.

In the end, on that great day, when we stand before God to render that accounting for ourselves, we will get asked about what we stood for,,,  what we did,,,, and the choices we have made.

” Choose this day whom you will serve.. as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord !”

May God give you courage.. strength… and the gift of His peace !


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