There is an interesting verse in the book of Mark that describes the events leading up to King Herod’s slaying of John the Baptist after Herod’s wife, Herodias, had her daughter ask for John’s head after performing what was essentially a strip tease for Herod and his cronies.
The verse hints at the seditious nature of the spiritual conflict that we are involved in.
21 A strategic day came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his lords and military commanders and the leading men of Galilee; (Mark 6:21 NASV)
The 1995 version of the NASV called Herod’s birthday celebration as a strategic day. Other versions translate the Greek word ‘eukairos’ as an opportune time.
But the meaning is clear, it speaks of a well-timed assault and speaks of satanic forces strategizing in their attack on the Kingdom of God.
And it’s obvious from this verse that this strategy involved manipulating political leaders. Herod’s wife Herodias wanted to take out John the Baptist who was publicly criticizing her marriage to Herod.
Using her daughter, she set a trap forcing Herod to execute John after he promised to give Herodias’ daughter up to half his kingdom after performing a dance that was usually reserved for prostitutes.
Jesus described this whole incident as a blatant assault on the Kingdom of God.
12 From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force. (Matthew 11:12 NASV)
As we look at the chaos that has enveloped our world since COVID hit in 2020, we need to realize that there may be more going on than meets the eye.
I wonder if COVID was just such a strategic time, that allowed Satan to manipulate politicians into taking extreme actions limiting people’s freedom and liberty.
This manipulation has also shown up in a major shift in how people are thinking.
The Daily Signal reports that the Wall Street Journal was involved in two interesting polls, one in August 2019 six months prior to COVID hitting and a second one conducted in March of this year, 2023.
The polls revealed some radical shifts in thinking among Americans in the course of three years.
|Wall Street Journal Polls, 2019 and 2023||August 2019||March 2023|
|% of Americans who think hard work is important||89%||67%|
|% of Americans who think community involvement is important||62%||25%|
|% of Americans who think patriotism is important||61%||38%|
|% of Americans who think religion is very important||48%||39%|
|% of Americans who think having children is important||43%||30%|
When looking at these results, a couple of things stand out.
First, we notice a sharp decline in the number of Americans who think religion is important from 48% to 39%. It marks a shift to a more secular society, where we look to governments as the solution to world problems.
Secondly, we see a significant drop in the number of Americans who think patriotism is important from 61% in 2019 to 38% today.
This is concerning because I believe patriotism is one of the biggest hindrances to the formation of a one-world government that the Bible predicts would arise in the end times. In order for a globalist agenda to be fulfilled, the importance of nations must diminish.
Thirdly, we see Jesus’ prophecy about the love of many growing cold (Matthew 24:12) coming to pass reflected in a significant drop in the percentage of Americans who believe community involvement is significant, as it fell from 62% to 25% over the three-year period.
People are becoming more self-centered and this shows up again in the number who think children are important which fell from 43% in 2019 to 30% today.
So as believers how are we to respond?
Well, we need to pray for our political leaders as Paul urges us to do (1 Timothy 2:2).
As we look at that strategic day in Mark, it was done for the sole purpose of manipulating King Herod into executing John the Baptist.
What makes it even more disturbing is that Herod didn’t want to do it, because he actually liked John (Mark 6:20).
But inflamed by the alcohol and the dance, he made a rash promise to Herodias’ daughter in front of his buddies and felt compelled to follow through when she asked for John’s head:
25 Immediately she came in a hurry to the king and asked, saying, “I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.” 26 And although the king was very sorry, yet because of his oaths and because of [p]his dinner guests, he was unwilling to refuse her. (Mark 6:25-26 NASV)
During the pandemic, I believe there were instances when politicians felt pressured to do things, that they didn’t want to do.
They felt compelled to act because of the intense pressure from largely the mainstream media, social media and other political and medical elites to bring in mandates that they didn’t want to do.
So as Christians, we need to pray for our leaders, so they can withstand these pressures.
READ: Poll Shows American Values Changed Drastically During Pandemic