Daily Word of God

July 12

Death of John the Baptist

So he sent and had John beheaded in the prison. — Matt 14:10 NET

This seems a sad end for this glorious man’s life. After a few months of faithful preaching he was cast into a dungeon, where he lay for a year, and where he was beheaded as a felon. To us it is very mysterious. Why did God permit such a fate to come upon so faithful and noble a servant? Our Lord Himself said that no greater man ever lived than John. Why then was his life allowed to go out in such darkness?.

We know, first, that it was no accident. There are no accidents in this world over which our loving Father presides. John would not have chosen such a life-plan for himself, so brief, with such a tragic ending; few of us would choose just the life we live in this world. There are no chances, no accidents. “Our ways are those of the Lord’s choosing — ways sadder, perhaps, but safer; rougher, perhaps, but surer; narrower, perhaps, but better than those of our own dreaming.”

John finished his work. If there had been anything further for him to do he would not have been left to die so ignominiously, to gratify the revenge of a wicked woman. His work was done when Christ began to preach. Then when he died, it was for faithfulness to the truth. It is not long years that make a complete life. A life is complete, whether long or short, that fulfils the purpose of its creation. And the longest life is incomplete and a failure if it does not do the work for which it was made. It is better to die in youth with a life unspotted than to live on to old age in sin and crime. It was a thousand times better every way to die as John died, than to live on as Herod and Herodias lived.

He liveth long who liveth well.—
All else is being flung away;
He liveth longest who can tell
Of true things truly done each day.

Daily Word of God - July 12

Public domain content taken from Come Ye Apart by J.R. Miller.