Happy Wednesday! The one thing that I love to do is cheer at the top of my lungs for my favorite team. Regardless of the sport, if I am excited about the team you will hear my shout for joy. Sometimes, I am a fan of the team and other times I am only a fan of a player because that player has great character. In today’s reading we will read about a group of people who praised a king. Join me as we continue in Acts chapter 12 and learn what happened to the king.
20 Now Herod was very angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon. So they sent a delegation to make peace with him because their cities were dependent upon Herod’s country for food. The delegates won the support of Blastus, Herod’s personal assistant, 21 and an appointment with Herod was granted. When the day arrived, Herod put on his royal robes, sat on his throne, and made a speech to them. 22 The people gave him a great ovation, shouting, “It’s the voice of a god, not of a man!”
23 Instantly, an angel of the Lord struck Herod with a sickness, because he accepted the people’s worship instead of giving the glory to God. So he was consumed with worms and died.
24 Meanwhile, the word of God continued to spread, and there were many new believers.
25 When Barnabas and Saul had finished their mission to Jerusalem, they returned,[d] taking John Mark with them.” – Acts 12:20-25 NLT
Some Key Points
- There was an attempt for the people to make peace with Herod.
- Herod in his royal attire while sitting on a throne addressed the people.
- The people praised Herod declaring his voice was of a god and not a man.
- Herod was ill because he accepted the people’s worship instead of giving God the glory.
- God’s word continued to spread and believers were added.
Sisters and brothers, I think we can agree that God places leaders in a position for a reason and season. Herod was a harsh King, yet some people loved Him. While Herod was responsible for the death of James (John’s brother), had ordered the death of the soldiers who should have kept Peter in prison – God still allowed him to rule and reign. However, it was one act that brought him death.
In the Old Testament the word of God says in Exodus 20:3 “You must not have any other god but me” and Deuteronomy 5:8 “You must not have any other god but me.” Herod’s death sentence was accepting the people’s worship instead of giving the glory to God.
Note that even through the period of persecution, harsh reign of a king, and fear/death the Word of God continued to spread and more believers were being added. The work of sharing the Good News never ceased. Sisters and brothers, I know many people are worried about the current times that we are in, but let me encourage you to keep your eyes on God. Do not lose focus. Maybe this year 2020, is the year when we need 20/20 vision on the things of God. We need to ensure we give God all the glory and praise, not man.
Things to ponder:
- Who or what things have you allowed to become your god?
- Who are you giving praise to before you give praise to God?
- What do you need to give God praise for?
Father God we thank you and praise you for all that you do and for all that you have done. Lord, forgive us for the times we failed to give you the praise that you are due/deserve. Lord, forgive us for relying on ourselves or others to do the things that only you can do. Lord, forgive us for grumbling and complaining about leaders instead of bringing our concerns to you first. Lord, you know exactly what is going on in our nation and around the world. Lord, we know your justice is perfect. Lord, we trust you with our lives and know that you will make provisions for your children. Lord, continue to work in our hearts and keep us focused on you. Lord, unify us in love and peace toward one another. Equip us with your armor today, because with you no weapon formed against us will prosper. Continue your mighty work within us and change us to be more like you each day. Give us boldness of speech and a pure heart to reach those who don’t know you. We declare victory over this day in the mighty name of Jesus, amen.
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