The Sin of Manipulation
“Herod had arrested John, put him in chains, and sent him to prison to placate Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife. John had provoked Herod by naming his relationship with Herodias “adultery.”” (Matthew 14:3–4, The Message)
I imagine the conversation went like this:
John: Why are you with Herodias, don’t you know that she is another man’s wife?
Herod: You are right, but she is so beautiful and…
John: She’s not yours to have.
Herod: But she says she loves me…
John: She’s manipulating you. Don’t fall into her trap.
I like to think that John shared with Herod the following proverb:
“Though the lips of the forbidden woman drip honey and her words are smoother than oil, in the end she’s as bitter as wormwood and as sharp as a double-edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps head straight for Sheol. She doesn’t consider the path of life; she doesn’t know that her ways are unstable.” (Proverbs 5:3–6, HCSB)
However, Herodias held more power over her lover Herod. He listened to her more than God’s word. She really is manipulative. She even gets her daughter to trick Herod into killing John.
“But when Herod’s birthday celebration came, Herodias’s daughter danced before them and pleased Herod. So he promised with an oath to give her whatever she might ask. And prompted by her mother, she answered, “Give me John the Baptist’s head here on a platter!”” (Matthew 14:6–8, HCSB)
It is true that Herod committed the sin of adultery, which John addressed. However, Herodias was guilty of the sin of manipulation. Many times, the sin of manipulation precedes other sins (like adultery.) Manipulators use people to get what they want, even when God says that some things (and people) are not ours to have.