Herod Just was not having a very good day. He had struck on a way to become popular to the opposing sides of His kingdom– the Romans and Jews. The common cause–wipe out the Church. Herod had captured the Church’s leader, Peter. God released Peter and no one could find him. This made Herod furious. He was going to punish the carelessness with the execution of the Guards. Then Herod settled a dispute with two neighboring areas–Tyre and Sidon. In the process, he delivered a speech. The speech was very good–Yet, when given the chance, Herod took credit as speaking as God. Finally, the recognition he longed for. He was as great as God! Well, God struck him dead for his conceit and self-absorption. It was a nasty end of a nasty life.
God is not fooled, nor is he concerned about competing with men for dominance. He is our creator and the master of the universe. Whenever we pit ourselves against God, whether out of anger or pride, we will ultimately lose. God will stand as large and in charge as he has throughout history. We can enjoy peace and security, if we are willing to humbly follow him. He will lead, guide and bless us as we trust him. He never promises our journey will be easy, but, rest assured it will be full, meaningful and purposeful.
Should we, however, pit ourselves against God, the end will be far different. Our arrogance robs us of peace, our independence leads to chaos, and our inability to trust and follow God leads to a misdirected life and a woeful end. It is always our choice whether to follow or run independent of God–the outcome of the choice, however, will be apparent and starkly different. As the old Hymn says, “Trust and obey, for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus–but to trust and obey!”
God Bless You
16 But Peter kept on knocking, and when they opened the door and saw him, they were astonished. 17 Peter motioned with his hand for them to be quiet and described how the Lord had brought him out of prison. “Tell James and the other brothers and sisters about this,” he said, and then he left for another place.
18 In the morning, there was no small commotion among the soldiers as to what had become of Peter. 19 After Herod had a thorough search made for him and did not find him, he cross-examined the guards and ordered that they be executed.
Then Herod went from Judea to Caesarea and stayed there. 20 He had been quarreling with the people of Tyre and Sidon; they now joined together and sought an audience with him. After securing the support of Blastus, a trusted personal servant of the king, they asked for peace, because they depended on the king’s country for their food supply.
21 On the appointed day Herod, wearing his royal robes, sat on his throne and delivered a public address to the people. 22 They shouted, “This is the voice of a god, not of a man.” 23 Immediately, because Herod did not give praise to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died.
24 But the word of God continued to spread and flourish.