19 After Herod had searched and did not find him, he interrogated the guards and ordered their execution. Then Herod went down from Judea to Caesarea and stayed there.
20 He had been very angry with the Tyrians and Sidonians. Together they presented themselves before him. They won over Blastus, who was in charge of the king’s bedroom, and through him they asked for peace, because their country was supplied with food from the king’s country. 21 So on an appointed day, dressed in royal robes and seated on the throne, Herod delivered a public address to them. 22 The assembled people began to shout, “It’s the voice of a god and not of a man!” 23 At once an angel of the Lord struck him because he did not give the glory to God, and he became infected with worms and died. 24 Then God’s message flourished and multiplied. 25 After they had completed their relief mission, Barnabas and Saul returned to Jerusalem, taking along John who is called Mark.
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
At once an angel of the Lord struck him because he did not give the glory to God, and he became infected with worms and died.
— Acts 12:23
Herod did his fair share of speaking out against God, and it was a major thorn in the sides of the first-century Christians. But not giving glory to God is what killed him.
I can see it now. Herod stood there with his chest puffed out, head held high, thinking – “That’s right, I’m a god!” He tried to take the glory and became worm food—literally. He was struck down by an angel of the Lord and infected with worms.
Think about it. Aren’t worm diseases silent and painful? Silent killers? It’s interesting that he was silent about God’s glory and killed by something that quietly ate away at him. The Lord knew Herod’s heart, and Herod paid the price.
Silence speaks volumes because our hearts are what matter. Our hearts can scream, “I got this. This is all ME!” and our mouths not utter a word. When we try to put ourselves in a higher position than God, we deserve the same consequence Herod received.
I don’t want to be like Herod. I don’t want silence to kill me. I don’t want my heart to speak anything but what gives glory to God in the highest. I want to speak HIS name and His praise in everything I do or whatever position I hold.
If I become queen, all glory to God because He’d be the one who put me there. If I become poor and homeless, all glory to God because He’d use me among the least of these.
What do I want you to know? God is serious about HIS glory—really serious. He’ll go to great lengths for HIS glory to be known, and it can’t be snuffed out or taken by anyone. Don’t take HIS glory lightly. The consequences are dire.
What do I want you to do with this? Every piece of Scripture is God-breathed. I’ve read this piece of Scripture before and floated right past it. But when I read through it this time and started to study it, I realized God is very purposeful in every word.
Lord, you put this piece of Scripture in here to teach us, to show us. Herod lived. He persecuted the church. He tried to take Your credit for being God. The consequences? Death. Help us not to take Your glory lightly, but be in fear and awe of YOUR glory!
- How often do you take credit for God’s work?
- How often do you not give glory to God?
- What is your heart screaming out—even if you’ve not said a word?
- Have you floated over certain pieces of Scripture because they seemed unimportant?