Matthew and Mark tell us in their Gospel accounts (Matthew 14:6-11; Mark 6:22-28) of Herodias’ daughter who, according to the historian Josephus, was called Salome. If you’re not familiar with Salome’s momma, you can read our post on her here. Besides having a long history of royal murder and madness, the Herod family was all sorts of mixed up. According to GotQuestions.org:
Herod Antipas (the “King Herod” of Mark 6:14) had divorced his wife and married Herodias, who was the wife of his half-brother Philip (Mark 6:17). However, Herodias herself was the daughter of another of Herod’s half-brothers, Aristobulus, making her not only the wife but the niece of both Philip and Herod—and a sister-in-law of Herod. Salome was Herodias’s daughter through Philip. Thus, Salome was the daughter (and grandniece) of Philip and the step-daughter (and grandniece by marriage) of Herod; she was also both daughter and grandniece to her own mother.
On Herod’s birthday, Salome danced for him. Her dance pleased him so much that he promised to give her whatever she asked. Influenced by her mother, Salome asked to have John the Baptist’s head on a platter. Even though Herod was much distressed over having John killed, he kept his promise and gave Salome what she had asked for, and Salome promptly took the head to Herodias. Salome is not mentioned any more in Scripture. Despite her seemingly young age and short appearance in the Bible, Herodias’ daughter will always bear some responsibility for having Christ’s forerunner murdered because she did not think for herself.
1. Herodias’ daughter did not think for herself. Personally, Salome did not have anything against John the Baptist, but her mother certainly did. Because John the Baptist had rebuked Herod and Herodias for their unlawful marriage to one another, Herodias had it out for the man who made a fashion statement with camel’s hair.
Due to her wonderful dancing skills, Herod promised to give Salome anything that she asked for – not anything that her mother asked for. Instead of requesting something that she truly wanted, Salome inquired of her mother, “What shall I ask for?”
Without hesitation, her mother replied, “The head of John the Baptist.”
Of course, any decent girl wants to obey their mother, but upon hearing these words, Salome should have paused and thought about the heart behind Herodias’ request. Was it motivated by hate? Engineered by sheer dislike? She should have thought about the right thing, the moral thing to do and followed her own mind and heart instead of someone else’s.
When we ask people for advice and they give us words that are contrary to God’s Word, we should not hurry to follow their advice. Instead, we should stop, pray, and think for ourselves: Is it good? Is it the right thing to do? Is it what God would have me to do? If the answer to all of the above is no, then we should disregard bad advice and follow our own heart when it shows us what is good.
We must think for ourselves, or else others will think for us and prevent us from fully being who God created us to be – independent in Him, empowered with strength to love, and full of faith.