A Dying Conscience
For Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just and holy man, and he protected him. And when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly. —Mark 6:20
It has been said that conscience doesn’t always keep you from doing wrong, but it does keep you from enjoying it. The Bible tells the story of a man with a very guilty conscience, a conscience that ultimately went dead. He knew what was right, but he simply refused to do it. His conscience was captive to his own whims and moods.
He was without excuse however, because he had as his personal preacher the greatest of the Old Testament prophets, John the Baptist. Despite hearing countless messages by John, this man did what was wrong. His name was Herod, often known as Herod Antipas.
Herod Antipas was in power at the time John the Baptist burst on the scene, telling people to repent. The direct forerunner of Jesus, John was everything that Herod was not. While Herod was unsure and torn and proud and so worried about the opinions of others, John was sure and humble and concerned only with the opinion of God. Herod was a man who lived in spineless weakness, but John was a man of immense moral courage.
Herod had John arrested and kept him under guard because he saw him as a threat. At the same time, he admired this man of God and would spend considerable time in his presence listening to him. This is amazing when you consider the fact that John called out Herod for his sin of being married to Herodias, the wife of his brother, Philip.
Yet Herod was more concerned with pleasing people than doing what was right, so he ultimately took John’s head and lost his own conscience. And although John lost his head, he kept his conscience.
If your conscience is troubling you today, then that is good. It is a sign that it is working.
Copyright © 2016 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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