Scripture: Acts 12.
(What is God saying here?)
Acts 12:20-23 (NLT)
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.
(How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)
Through God’s power, I see two things worthy of note here this morning:
- The people made so much over Herod until it eventually broke into their saying that he was the voice of a god, not of mere man. This is so very dangerous, because even today I believe that we become so overwhelmed and impressed with a ‘man’ that we follow him instead of independently listening to the voice of God and following His will. I am a firm believer in recognizing the good, and the unselfish acts that a man may do, especially when he is influenced by the Holy Spirit, however we must be very careful not to lift him up as a god; and
- It was evident to God that Herod was just eating this attention up and he made no attempt to point the people to the good God was doing through him. Because of this self-pride that had developed, God struck Herod with a fatal decease. I have seen pastors who have practiced just the opposite – when praises are passed to them for a good sermon or for something they may have done; I’ve heard the pastor say that he would pass that praise on up to the Father who made it all possible in the first place. I admire a man like that, because they are saying to the people that they appreciate their praise, but it was all possible only through the grace and power of the almighty.
(With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)
Father I need to ask two things of You this morning. (1) When I am tempted to lift a person up beyond what You know they can handle unselfishly, please speak to me and help me to control my praise, or rather give the praise to You for making it all possible through that individual, and (2) Please keep me humble so that I may show appreciation for any praise that may be given to me, while being very careful to recognize where the talent or privilege originated from, and therefore be quick to pass the glory on to You. I am nothing without Your blessings, direction, love and wisdom. Please help me to especially be conscious of this when others may want to recognize me for doing something. Thank You Father for blessing, and working through even me.
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