20 Now Herod was angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon, and they came to him with one accord, and having persuaded Blastus, the king’s chamberlain, they asked for peace, because their country depended on the king’s country for food. 21 On an appointed day Herod put on his royal robes, took his seat upon the throne, and delivered an oration to them. 22 And the people were shouting, “The voice of a god, and not of a man!” 23 Immediately an angel of the Lord struck him down, because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and breathed his last.
24 But the word of God increased and multiplied.
25 And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem when they had completed their service, bringing with them John, whose other name was Mark.
POINTS OF INTEREST
- v20 Tyre and Sidon were famous and important cities of Phoenicia on the Mediterranean. They were very ancient, large, splendid, flourishing in commerce, and powerful by land and sea. Both are now located in Lebanon. We know that Herod was a very powerful man over the whole region of Palestine, as well as Syria, including Tyre and Sidon (part of Lebanon).
- v21-22 Look at how man glorify themselves through royal robes made of silver that sparkled in the sun, provoking the crowd’s acclamation. Do we sometimes fail to give God the due glory and claim the achievements by our own strength?
- v23 “because he did not give God the glory.” In contrast to Peter’s instantaneous rejection of worship in Acts 10:26, Herod receives this wrongful praise with delight. In both cases, the instinctive response to an unexpected situation revealed the condition of the man’s heart. Judging by Herod’s gruesome outcome, indulging in man’s own greatness instead of proclaiming God’s glory, greatly displeases the Lord.
- v24 “the word of God increased.” No power can triumph over the word of God, and those who attempt to harm God’s people will in the end face judgment themselves. This reminds me of God’s promise in Hebrews 13:6 “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” Take heart that we will emerge victorious with God in whatever circumstances that we are now in.
- v20-25 Chapter 12 begins and ends with Herod Agrippa I: the persecutor of the church now brings about his own death. Romans 8:31 “If God is for us, who can be against us?” Praise God that we have a much bigger and powerful God that evil has no stronghold against us.
submitted by Violet Lee
PRAYING IN FAITH
Have we remembered to praise God and give Him the due glory today?
For your Five
Pray that they will get to know this powerful God who will always be their friend and helper.
For Our Church
Pray that God will continue to strengthen us as we do His work. Pray that we will be a church that truly seeks God’s heart and not become self-centred.