7-13-15 Two Men and Their Wives
2 Samuel 6:1-5, 12b-19, Mark 6:14-29
Here’s what I notice about these two stories:
1) Each guy has an unhappy wife.
David’s wife, Michal, is furiously embarrassed by her husband’s undignified behavior with the common folk. Herod’s wife/sister-in-law, Herodias, is dangerously threatened by John the Baptist’s propensity to point out that their marriage is illegitimate by Jewish law.
2) Both Kings are caught up by dance energy. But David is in the dance. Herod is watching the dance.
Perhaps David navigates his wife’s ill humor so gracefully because the persona of “king” has not kept him from being part of a dance that celebrates God’s power and presence.
Perhaps Herod is unable to escape the his role (what the people around him expect him to be) because he is entertained without being transformed by his daughter’s dance, just as he was stimulated but not changed by John’s message.
Neither man is an angel. Herod is not just a victim of other’s expectations. He has ruthlessly created and enforced the expectations that now chain him. As David’s own power grows, he will ruthlessly take the life of a good man who stands in his way, Bathsheeba’s husband. But because David has known God's dance, he will be able to correct his course when confronted. What will save Herod?