20 He had been quarreling with the people of Tyre and Sidon. So they got together and asked for a meeting with him. This was because they depended on the king’s country to supply them with food. They gained the support of Blastus and then asked for peace. Blastus was a trusted personal servant of the king. 21 The appointed day came. Herod was seated on his throne. He was wearing his royal robes. He made a speech to the people. 22 Then they shouted, “This is the voice of a god. It’s not the voice of a man.” 23 Right away an angel of the Lord struck Herod down. Herod had not given praise to God. So he was eaten by worms and died. 24 But God’s word continued to spread and many people believed the message. 25 Barnabas and Saul finished their task. Then they returned from Jerusalem. They took John Mark with them.
Herod certainly was not acting as a friend of God. Earlier in the chapter he was killing and imprisoning Jesus’ followers and then in this passage he accepted the worship due to the one true God. Herod is shown here attempting to gain his value and worth from people. His identity was tied up in what people thought of him, which led him to persecute Jesus’ followers as this action was applauded by the Jews (vs3). The same motivation seems to have caused him to accept the worship of the delegation rather than directing their praises to God.
How often am I motivated by a desire to please others and how often do I seek the approval of people rather than resting in my identity in Christ?! Too often! God, I can see how dangerous it is to look to people for my worth and value and how it leads me away from truly serving you. In the everyday flow of life please help me to slow down and see my motivations. May my actions come from a place of security and rest, rather than a desire to prove myself. Teach me how to live in your grace and focus on how magnificent you are. Thank you Holy Spirit that you guide me in living this out. Amen.
Written by Beth Waugh