But when Herod’s birthday was celebrated, the daughter of Herodias danced before them and pleased Herod. (Matthew 14:6)
She Pleased Herod
John the Baptist was a bold preacher who denounced the hypocrisy of the Jewish leaders and also challenged the tetrarch of Galilee and Peraea concerning his marriage. Herod Antipas was the son of Herod the Great who tried to kill the young child Jesus slaughtering all the male children in Bethlehem two-years-old and under. Herod had seduced his brother Phillip’s wife Herodias and married her. John the Baptist had told Herod his marriage was unlawful and was arrested and placed in prison. On the occasion of Herod’s birthday, the king invited Salome (daughter of Philip and Herodias) to dance before him and all the officials. She danced before the king and keeping with a promise to give her whatever she might ask, demanded John the Baptist to be killed. The life of a righteous man came to an end because of the fickle immoralities of a man who was excited by the dancing of a young girl. Matthew writes in simple language that Salome pleased Herod by her dancing. Mark will record in his gospel that Salome pleased Herod and those who sat with him. The pleasure was so great the king promised to give the girl anything she wanted. What drove a man to promise a girl up to half of his kingdom? The one thing that moved Herod to make such a rash promise was because a young girl danced before him pleasing his sensual eyes and the passions of all the men around him. They were aroused by her movements. Her dancing was in a provocative movement in unbridled lust of the flesh. That is the nature of dancing and she accomplished exactly what dance is designed to achieve.
Paul described the works of the flesh using some words that are not common in our English language. One of the sins condemned by the Holy Spirit is called lasciviousness. It is also called lewdness, sensuality, debauchery and licentiousness. These are not words most people are familiar with. The meaning of these words is given as that which is unbridled lust, wanton acts or manners (including) filthy words, indecent bodily movements, unchaste handling of males and females. Dancing clearly falls under the heading of these definitions and is condemned by God. What is difficult to help the people of God understand is that dancing is not something that shows the light of Jesus Christ. Using the body to move about in a manner that exhibits the characteristics of the fleshly body is sinful. Dancing lends itself to the erotic and sensual nature of the body. Throughout the act of dancing the body is moved in such a way to mimic intercourse, teasing, suggestive movements to arouse and to please not only the one dancing but to excite others. Where in the course of dancing is Jesus Christ glorified or the Father exalted as Holy? The Christian is to use his body as the temple of the Holy Spirit and moving it in gyrations of sexual attraction is foreign to anything holy. Is it possible to teach the righteousness of Christ while dancing? The Father calls it sinful. There is no social acceptance and generational mandate that will change the will of God.
The people of God must not allow the influence of the world to destroy their credibility as saints of the most High God. Parents who allow their children to dance are teaching their children to live in the world and be a hypocrite to Jesus Christ. The dancing leg and the praying knee do not come on the same body. Cheer-leading is another form of sensual dancing when the movements are to excite and arouse others either by the body or the dress. Most cheer-leading outfits are immodest. Why would we allow our daughters to stand before crowds of people in skimpy outfits and move their bodies around in provocative ways and call that a sport? Salome pleased Herod by her body and shame on those who seek to follow holiness and truth that become disciples of Salome and please others. It’s too early for the prom but there are always dances that come up in school that parents blindly allow their children to participate in. Fathers should lead their families in the truth of righteousness that keeps their children in the holy faith of God’s word. Mothers must protect their children from the influences of the world. It is an utter failure for parents to allow their children to dance and dress immodestly in their youth and then expect them to grow up as faithful and dedicated Christians one day. One of the reasons we lose so many of our young people is parents who form the characters of their children early in life falsely believing their children will miraculously turn into God-fearing adults. It does not happen. Training up a child in the way that he should go is an imperative now. Allowing our children to please Herod will only end in death – a spiritual demise. How sad.