Give God the Glory for What?
In Acts 12, we read the story concerning Herod the king who had James, the brother of John killed, and who also had Peter arrested (vs. 1-3). As the chapter came to a close, we are informed about Herod’s dislike for the people of Tyre and Sidon (vs. 20). However, those people were longing for peace with Herod because his country supplied them with food.
Therefore, the king arrayed himself in royal apparel, sitting on his throne gave an oration to the people (vs. 21). After he spoke the people shouted out to Herod, “The voice of a god and not of a man!”(vs. 22). Now, because he did not give the glory to God, he was struck by an angel of the Lord and was eaten by worms and died (vs. 23).
The obvious question arises, with Herod being such an evil king, who not only had Peter arrested, but had James killed, what could he have given glory to God for? I mean, was he to thank God for using his power to hurt His children? Of course not. What kind of glory would God expect this man to give to Him? The answer is, it is easy to give God the glory if he was willing to admit some things.
No Matter What He says, He is Just a Man
The people were crying out that his words were not of a man. Yes they were. Even children of God are warned about thinking of themselves more highly than they ought (Rom. 12:3). People in position of power, shouldn’t forget there is a supreme power. Kings were created by the Creator (Gen. 1:26).
Even as a King, That Has Food, He Didn’t Create It
Not only was this man’s words, were not divine, his ability to prove food for them came as a result of that which God provided. Whether it be the seed, the soil and the rain – none of which any king can make. The only way to describe someone like Herod, is to call him a fool. Why? Only a fool says in his heart there is no God (Psa. 14:1). Or in this case, accept the he is a god.
As a Ruler, Even He Could Not Stop God
When Herod had Peter arrested, he was determined to bring him before the people after the Passover (Acts 12:4). To be assured of this, the king delivered Peter to four squads of soldiers to keep him. We are told the apostle was bound with two chains between two soldiers, and there were guards before the door of the prison (vs. 6). Not only that, we learn when Peter was freed by an angel of the Lord, they still had to get past the first and second guard posts (vr. 10). Even though the king had the guards killed (vs. 19), certainly he ought to have feared the God that was able to set Peter free.
Having Wealth Doesn’t Guarantee Good Health
Not only should he have been thankful for creation, but to bring it closer to home – his life. Rain falls on the just and unjust (Matt. 5:45). Evil people can have good health, and they have God to thank for it. No, God wasn’t giving Herod a special blessing of good health (until the end) because he was good. Good things happen to bad people and good people. But the fact is, God needs to be thanked – even though the wicked don’t. God deserves the glory.
This man was eaten by worms and died because pride got the best of him. This is a transgression that will keep many people out of heaven (I Jn. 2:16). Let us learn the lessons from Herod and give God the glory for all things.
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