Here’s Today’s Devotional from The Vine…
…and he sent and beheaded John in the prison. – Matthew 14:10
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 common criminal. To us it is very mysterious. Why would God allow this to happen to someone so faithful? Jesus Himself said that no greater man ever lived than John. So 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 that God does not have control over. John would not have chosen such a life-plan for himself, so brief, with such a tragic ending. In fact, few of us choose 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 in shame, to gratify the revenge of a wicked woman. His work was done when Christ began to preach. When John died, it was for faithfulness to the truth.
It is not long the length of someone’s life that makes it complete. A life is complete, whether long or short, when it fulfills 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 untarnished than to live on to old age in sin and selfishness. It was a thousand times better every way to die as John died, than to live on as Herod and Herodias lived.