John the Baptist is one of my favorite Bible characters. I admire him for his courage and boldness and his total abandon from everything so he can live for God. He didn’t care what you thought of him, and yet he was incredibly humble. When people thought he might be the Messiah, he responded that he definitely was not. He wasn’t even worthy to untie the sandal straps of the true Messiah.
John showed his courage when he condemned King Herod for living in adultery. Herod had seduced his brother, Philip’s wife. Her name was Herodias, and she is the epitome of the person who hates and enjoys hating. She held grudges, waiting for the moment to get even. She was a master manipulator, and she wanted John dead, and finally the opportunity came. It was the birthday party of King Herod. At these parties Herod and his guests were accustomed to getting drunk and having X-rated entertainment. Herodias told Herod that she would provide the entertainment for this party. It would be her own daughter Salome.
Mark says that Herod invited all the leading men of Galilee to his banquet (Mark 6:21). Herod was depraved, and his parties were a complete drunken and moral debauchery. Salome gave a sensuous and provocative dance, which when combined with the dullness of the wine, Herod was ready to give away half his kingdom, “Ask me for anything you want, and I'll give it to you” (Mark 6:22). Herod imagined she would ask for jewels or clothes but never for the head of John the Baptist. She asked that it be delivered on a silver platter. It was, and Herod was too proud and too lost to lose face before his guests. That was the day his conscience died.
When you lose your conscience and your desire to live for Jesus, you are in danger of losing all sense of morality. You wind up in places you never dreamed. You find yourself caught in traps that were supposed to only catch other people.
This is exactly what pornography does to men today. It captures them like a giant octopus and tightens its grip around them. Men who are addicted to pornography lose their self-control, their dignity and become the slave of a counterfeit sexuality. The addiction is so strong that it actually controls their thoughts, and they lose self-control. As a result, marriages are broken, families are lost, and lives are squandered by this debauchery. I have heard men say on many occasions, “I know this destroying my life and my family, but I don’t know how to stop.”
What is so mind boggling, is that men are willing to give up everything in the moment, only later to live their lives in total regret. Women, don’t think men are the only ones caught in this web. After all, it is Salome who is the bait the devil uses to lure these depraved men to lust after her body. Women and girls, please have enough grace to know how to dress so that you are not luring a man after your body, but after your heart.
Later at Jesus’ trial, Herod plied Jesus with many questions hoping to see a miracle, but Jesus never answered him. Herod is the only person who received the silence of Jesus (Luke 23:8-9). Herod’s life should give us all pause and make us consider how terrible it is to waste a life. How sad it was to be standing in Jesus’ presence, the Son of God and not recognize it.