Thursday, June 11, 2009


June 11, 2009

The life of Jesus. Read Today: Death of John the Baptist; Matthew 14:1-12

Matthew 14:9 GodsWord
9 The king regretted his promise. But because of his oath and his guests, he ordered that her wish be granted.

Promises (or as the King James says, oaths) can be very strong things. They never should be taken lightly.

A few years ago I worked on getting my bachelors degree. Working two jobs, raising a family and school full time, that was too much and something had to suffer. The window of opportunity was thin for the education and I had to work to keep the family a float. So I turned to my family, and in particular my daughter who missed her dad a lot. I promised her that I would spend as much time with her as I could. I had one more year to go and if she would stay with me through that year, I would not neglect her again.

I graduated, she was so happy, pictures of her wearing my cap from graduation are in my scrapbook. A month afterward I had a chance to start work on Master's degree. I could do it full time and get it done or part time and take a while. I looked at my daughter and remembered my words. It was clear what I needed to do. Part time it was. My word was my bond and she was going to get her dad back.

We often look at the story from today and say that it is sad that John the Baptist had to die because of a drunken promise. I propose another way to look at it. It was a promise and it had to be fulfilled. The ideal thing would have been never to make the promise in the first place if he could not keep it. But he had made a promise and it had to be kept. Especially to children. They will remember the promises that you break more than the ones that you keep.

Read for tomorrow: Herod fears John the Baptist has risen; Mark 6:14-29; Luke 9:7-9
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