And Herodias had a grudge against him (John the Baptist) and wanted to put him to death. But she could not, for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he kept him safe. When he heard him, he was greatly perplexed, and yet he heard him gladly.
Mark 6:19-20 ESV
Herod feared John.
Herod knew John was a righteous and holy man.
Herod listened to John.
Herod was perplexed by John yet gladly heard him.
Herod protected John — for awhile — until his fear of man trumped his fear of John.
Hmmm…interesting, isn’t it. Herod feared and respected John the Baptist and gladly heard him, but nothing about fearing God. Nothing about wanting to know more about this Messiah to which John was pointing. Herod was simply fascinated with the man (John), not God, thus his “fear” was not firmly grounded.
And herein lies the issue — the fear of man verses the fear of God. The fear of man will only take you so far and will eventually betray you and/or the one you claim to fear. The faith-filled fear of God will keep you in awe and never betray you, and will rightly direct your worship.
It’s sad, really, as this worldly fear leads people into false worship. This is evident in how people view /think of Christian worship. The delivery or form or the service itself becomes the object of one’s worship. One’s fear of how worship is done soon captures their heart and veils the one they claim to fear/worship.
They fear not being entertained.
They fear something going wrong.
When these becomes the main fears, then God is not glorified. How can God be glorified when people want…
…entertainment, not worship
…form, not substance
…creature, not Creator
…words, not the Word
…Easter, not Good Friday
…absolution, not confession
…comfort, not suffering
They fear man, not God.
May you not adopt the ways of Herod but walk in the Way of Jesus.
May your fear not be misplaced.
May your worship be directed towards “entertaining” God not in being entertained.
May you be greatly “perplexed” about God, so much so, that you are driven, more and more, to hear God, more and more gladly, so much so, that your holy fear of God is nurtured and cultivated in such a way that God is glorified in every way in your life.
The Pastor -|—