Gleans from Monday Bible Study with Pastor (Dr) W.F Kumuyi.
DLBC Gbagada HQ
19th August 2019
Study 24 – AN IMPROPER MARRIAGE THAT TERMINATED AN IMPORTANT MINISTRY
Text – Mark 6:14-29; Psalms 19:11; Romans 15:4; Psalms 39:1; Proverbs 9:7-10; 2 Timothy 3:5-7; Philippians 4:7; Matthew 7:6
As we look at the Word once again, we need to understand that reading, studying, learning from the Word will produce positive results when we learn with a purpose; we are not just coming as routine or for religious purpose. Today, we are learning about John the Baptist, Herod, Herodias and Herodias’ daughter and what took place among them. Be reminded that we learn in order to (i) be wise; (ii) walk in the way of the Lord; (iii) be watchful – when to follow or withdraw from a situation that confronts one in life; (iv) weigh our words and actions when we talk to people because of the consequences; (v) wait and think through before we speak when anything happens; (vi) withhold rebuke from a scorner; and (vii) withdraw from the wicked. Make sure you learn something from what we are reading today, and may God reveal His word to you that will make you wise. “Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward” (Psalms 19:11). “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope” (Romans 15:4). The story about Herod, Herodias and the consequence of the exhortation that John gave to Herod was written for our learning and admonition. Herod was terribly wicked, and we are bridle our tongue before the wicked. I pray that God will make us wise. You just heard that your boss did something terribly wicked, and you know that he has authority to do and undo; should you talk to him? The Lord will give you wisdom in that situation (Psalms 39:1; Proverbs 9:7-10; 2 Timothy 3:5-7). There are people who are religious, traditional and have superficial acceptance of the word of God, they deny the power thereof, from such turn away. They are ever learning and not born again, not able to come to the experiential knowledge of salvation. So watch before you go ahead to give them the word. “Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you” (Philippians 4:9). Those things you are learning as you come to the Bible Study, when situations come for you to apply the word of God you have been learning, do it, and the God of peace shall be with you. Jesus was here on earth when John was still alive. He knew what Herod had done, and yet was quiet and silent, but John spoke to Herod directly. Herod was impenitent and the impeccable ministry of John came to an end.
Point 1. THE HOLY, RIGHTEOUS PREACHER WITH AN ENDURING MESSAGE
This is talking about John the Baptist. “For Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just man and an holy, and observed him; and when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly” (Mark 6:20). John was a holy, righteous, just and justified man and Herod heard him gladly until the marriage situation came.
Three lessons from John’s life;
(i) The Message from the Lord – Leviticus 20:21; 18:20; Proverbs 6:27-29,32; Mark 10:6-9; Luke 16:18; Romans 7:2-3. This was an enduring message did not originate from John the Baptist. It was a message that was there before, during and after the time of Christ. It is unclean, defiling, abomination and a great transgression for a man to take his brother’s wife, “And if a man shall take his brother’s wife, it is an unclean thing: he hath uncovered his brother’s nakedness; they shall be childless” (Leviticus 20:21). This message remained the same at the time of Christ for Jesus did not come to change the word of God pertaining to righteousness and holiness. “Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery” (Luke 16:18). Now, after Christ had gone to the Cross and into Heaven, that enduring message on marriage remained the same. “For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man” (Romans 7:2-3). That was the message that only death can separate a husband and wife that are properly married according to the Scriptures.
(ii) His Manner of Life – Mark 6:20; John 5:33,35. “For Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just man and an holy, and observed him….” (Mark 6:20). That was the manner of John’s life and Herod feared him because the grace of God was evident in his lifestyle: no secret, common or uncommon sin; he was holy. Here was the testimony of Jesus concerning John the Baptist. “He was a burning and a shining light: and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light” (John 5:35). This is what a preacher should be – he enlightens, is fervent before the people, standing firmly and uncompromisingly for righteousness. John the Baptist was a faithful witness to Christ, courageous, consecrated, freed from the traditions of the Pharisees and never compromised with them, their sinful religion and false worship.
(iii) His Motive in Life – Luke 1:15-17; Matthew 21:32; John 1:29; 3:27-30. “For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb. And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God” (Luke 1:15-16). That was his motive in life, the calling of God was upon him, not to entertain sinners, but to preach the word of God unto them so that they will be converted. And he kept to that calling. “For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him” (Matthew 21:32). His messages, life, interactions, and outlook emphasised righteousness. While John preached repentance, he also preached redemption through Jesus Christ the Saviour, Lord, Redeemer for whom he came as forerunner (John 3:27-30).
Herod eventually killed John the Baptist. You might think that Herod was able to cut short his goal, purpose, plan and destination, but then see the testimony of Scriptures, “When John had first preached before his coming the baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel. And as John fulfilled his course…..”(Acts 13:24-25). He actually succeeded in his ministry and finished his course. So, don’t have any doubt in your mind that John did not fulfilled his ministry. He did all he should have done. You will fulfil your ministry do what God has purposed you should do in Jesus’ name.
Point 2. HEROD’S REVENGEFUL PASSION AFTER AN EVIL MARRIAGE
The evil took place after John had warned and exhorted Herod, Herodias and anyone connected with that evil and reckless life, but they abandoned themselves to evil, because (a) No fear of God; (b) No respect for society
The whole of the nation took John as a prophet, even the Pharisees respected this man as a true prophet but Herod, Herodias and her daughter had no respect for society; (c) No value placed on human life – they just did what they wanted; (d) No thought of future judgement; (e) No consideration for right thinking guests; (f) No control over their passions; and (g) No conscience for right or wrong.
Three things to consider here;
(i) Herod’s Hateful, Revengeful Passion – Mark 6:21-27; Proverbs 15:12. “And she went forth, and said unto her mother, What shall I ask? And she said, The head of John the Baptist” (Mark 6:24). What a mother! She had been waiting for that opportunity for a long time. See how far hatred, animosity and crime can go! “And the king was exceeding sorry; yet for his oath’s sake, and for their sakes which sat with him, he would not reject her” (Mark 6:26). The king was sorry, but he did not turn away from the evil nor repent. There are people who put stumbling blocks in another’s way, and when that person falls into danger or calamity, and they see the consequence of their action, they feel sorry, but no repentance and still continue putting stumbling blocks before people. Such are like Herod. Understand, sin is sin, and it should be repented of. If you made a covenant, oath or promise and you discover that it is sinful or evil and will bring judgement, you repent from it. You don’t say, I am a man or woman of my word, though this will harm somebody and offend God, I still must do it. No. You will repent. Herod had been angry and offended since John told the truth, and because of the hatred in his heart, when the opportunity came, he took a revenge.
(ii) Herodias’ Hostile Retaliatory Pursuit – Mark 6:19; Romans 14:12; Ecclesiastes 12:14; Job 31:14. She had had this thought, plan, plot and conspiracy to do something to John the Baptist who spoke against her marriage. “Therefore Herodias had a quarrel against him, and would have killed him; but she could not” (Mark 6:19). What offence, anger, malice, hateful thing do you have in your heart against the preacher of truth, teaching you to turn away from sin? The Truth is always the truth and is enduring and eternal. Herodias would have killed John and stopped his ministry to the whole nation, because he warned against and evil marriage, against sin, trying to save from eternal damnation. She could not, and nobody will kill you before your time in Jesus Name. “So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God” (Romans 14:12). Whatever you are angry at, you shall give account before God. Every word of anger, action of hatred, hostility, conspiracy or scorn because of a rebuke, God will bring into judgement, with every secret thing, plot and conspiracy (Ecclesiastes 12:14). The angry person must remember that God that gave him life is the One that gave the other person as well. Treasure life. The Lord will judge on that final day.
(iii) Her Horrible, Repulsive Perversion – Mark 6:22-25; Jeremiah 18:13; Ezekiel 22:14; Isaiah 13:9,11,13; Ecclesiastes 11:9
This is Herodias’ daughter now. She shared the hatred and hostility with her mother and became a horrible personality herself. She did not question her mother’s demand, nor think or feel for human life, “And she came in straightway with haste unto the king, and asked, saying, I will that thou give me by and by in a charger the head of John the Baptist” (Mark 6:25). She had perversion, evil and a corrupted heart. Young people understand that whatever you do will be examined by God, and if it is evil, judgement will surely come, for it comes to everyone, young and old. The mother taught the child a horrible thing, and the daughter carried it out, (Jeremiah 18:13). Herod, Herodias and her daughter, the day of judgement is coming when everything they have done will be required of them, “Can thine heart endure, or can thine hands be strong, in the days that I shall deal with thee? I the LORD have spoken it, and will do it” (Ezekiel 22:14). Judgement is coming and all will be there. The only way of escape is to repent and turn now, that whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved. But whosoever continues sinning, judgement will come. “And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible” (Isaiah 13:11). The Lord will punish all those who will rather continue in sin than repent and only the saved shall escape the judgement of God. Reckoning day is coming, and coming very soon.