Food for praise was in the works for King Herod in Acts 12:20-23. King Herod had been fighting with the people of Tyre and Sidon and they were about to be in a tough state food wise. So the people of Tyre and Sidon got Blastus, a trusted personal servant of Herod, to go on their behalf and get them an audience with the king. Why? They depended on Herod’s country for their food supply and it was running low.
So Herod, in his royal robes, comes out on the appointed day and delivers a stirring message to those people. To which they shouted, “This is the voice of a god, not a man.” This is where Herod messed up. He did not deny that he was a god to the people and in turn didn’t give praise to God. So, an angel of the Lord struck him down and he was eaten alive by worms from the inside out and died. What a painful death that must have been! They would be considered the Ultimate Tape Worm wouldn’t they? When the angel of the Lord struck him down the worms took over and the unworthy Herod died a very painful, strange death.
When was the last time you heard a leader take praise for all that had been done and given no credit to God. I heard one about eight years ago act like he could move the oceans and do anything he wanted. Well, he didn’t move the oceans, but he did do anything he wanted. Anything HE wanted.
Suffice to say, we don’t need to be taking credit for things God does. That goes against our human intellect, and our pride. We want to be puffed up to feed the ego inside of us and that ego just forgets that the very air we breathe is supplied by Almighty God. Our bodies function every day because we are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14) by Almighty God. We have a brain that can figure out complex things and help us become more knowledgable and that is given to us by Almighty God. But for some reason we still believe it is us doing all this stuff. Why can’t we just give credit to the One who is Creator and King? Why turn our back on His majesty and give praise to anyone else but Him? We, like Herod, must feel empowered!! You may say, “Like Herod?” Yes, we are just like Herod when we try to build ourselves up and elevate ourselves to heights we don’t deserve. If we are put in those high places by God, then we must give praise to God. In Proverb 16:18 it says it well, “Pride goes before destruction. And a haughty spirit before stumbling.” Yes, pride is a spiritual killer that causes many a believer to be humbled and eaten up from the inside out by their prideful condition. Oh, we may not have physical worms, but the worms of a prideful spirit also lead to spiritual death and it is also very painful. The pride road leads to that destruction every time because God is the only one who is to be praised and lifted up.
For you and me, our road to elevation leads through the humble valley of service. James 4:10 says “Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.” We have the ultimate example of humility found in Jesus who Paul wrote about in Philippians 2:6 “Who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God and thing to be grasped.” So the best example of humility is found in the Son of God, Jesus Christ.
So, Herod did mess up and the worms ate him up and he died. How is your pride eating you up? How is pride rolling in your life? Do you always feel the need to be RIGHT? You have a pride problem. Do you always want to have praise given to you? You have a pride problem. It goes on and on and the continued desire to feed those pride worms will one day eat you up spiritually and you will experience a deadness in your spirit that you do not want there. Herod’s death by worms was immediate, ours because of pride, may take a little longer but the worms are there…. waiting. Only God deserves all praise and glory. He is the only King of Kings and He is the only one worthy of our praise. All we have is from Him and nothing of ourselves. James 1:17 says it more clearly “Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.”
So praise the Lord. Praise the Lord. For all that He has done and all that He is going to do and sit back and let God be God and we will be the humble followers He has called to serve Him!!
The Pilgrimage continues….