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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...


On Your Mark by Dr. George O. Wood

 

The Peril of Indecision

So Herodias nursed a grudge against John and wanted to kill him. But she was not able to, because Herod feared John and protected him, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man. When Herod heard John, he was greatly puzzled; yet he liked to listen to him. 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. (Mark 6:19,20, NIV)

Several years ago I was dragging out a decision I needed to make. Seeing my procrastination, a close friend took me aside and said, “George, not to decide is to decide.”

Herod chose not to decide regarding John, and events would overtake him.

His wife nursed a very large grudge. John the Baptist had openly denounced the marriage of Herodias to Herod. Herodias had been married to Herod’s brother Philip. While others had remained disapprovingly silent, John went public.

Herodias turned bitter. She wanted John dead, but she did not have the authority to order it. Thus she remained suspended between desire and ability.

Instead of taking responsibility for her own actions in leaving Philip and going to Herod, she takes umbrage at the criticism. Instead of repenting, she stews. A grudge is simply simmering anger — getting hotter and hotter. It seeks a release, and that release either comes through repentance or doing a terrible deed.

We must not repeat her mistake. When someone rightfully identifies wrong in our own life, we must be careful not to kill the messenger. How different from Herod and Herodias is King David who repents when confronted by the prophet Nathan over his adultery with Bathsheba.

Let us also learn from Herodias the danger of holding a grudge. Trying to get even or retaliate against someone is like throwing a cactus. Your throw may be accurate and injure the other person, but your own hands will be scarred in the process.

Herod had a more ambivalent reaction to John than Herodias. On the one hand, Herod had John arrested; on the other hand, he regularly listened to him. Herod believed John to be a righteous man and holy, yet he kept him imprisoned. He liked to listen to John, but he didn’t take to heart what John said.

There is great spiritual peril when we fail to act on the truth of God’s Word. Going to Bible studies, attending church, listening to sermons and performing all kinds of religious activities is all in vain if we don’t deal decisively with sin in our own life.

The clock for Herod was ticking down. Sooner or later he would be forced to make a decision. At this point he doesn’t see it. He thinks he can keep dragging out the choice to sentence John or release him. He chooses to not make up his mind. He knows what John is saying is right; his conscience has been awakening through John’s preaching; but he will not come to a conclusion. The same mistake is repeated decades later by his great-nephew, Herod Agrippa II, who listens to the apostle Paul without being persuaded (Acts 26:26-29).

Herod’s indecision determined his destiny. What will your record show? Are you acting on the truth you know? Are you listening to and obeying what the Lord is telling you to do?

A prayer of response
Lord Jesus, I don’t want to be like Herod. Give me a heart to act rightly on what I hear. And, Lord, I don’t want to be like Herodias either. I release any grudge I have against another. I want a clean heart and a right spirit.

GEORGE O. WOOD is general superintendent of the Assemblies of God.

On Your Mark

Previous Years


2013 On Your Mark

2012 On Your Mark

2011 On Your Mark

2010 On Your Mark

2009 On Your Mark

2008 On Your Mark


Podcasts of On Your Mark are available in video and audio.
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