Herod Agrippa—It’s hard to be humble!

Herod Agrippa—It’s hard to be humble!

Herod Agrippa was true to type. This grandson of the murderous Herod the Great arrested Christians and killed the apostle James (Acts 12). Seeing that his cruel act had pleased the Jewish leaders, he had the apostle Peter arrested also. Peter too was going to die at his political hand. However, God sent an angel to rescue Peter, and consequently Peter’s 16-man squad of guards were executed by Herod for negligence (Acts 12:19). I would guess that Herod knew, even then, that it was an act of God.The historian, Josephus’ account of the end of Herod Agrippa’s life pretty well aligns with Luke’s in the Book of Acts. Josephus adds that the occasion for Herod’s sickness (he said he died 5 days later) was in Caesarea at games that he had put on for the Emperor. One morning Herod wore a robe made from silver that bedazzled the crowd. It even struck fear into many. Both Luke and Josephus mention the subsequent loud praise offered by those in the audience. Luke says: They shouted, “This is the voice of a god, not of a man” (Acts 12:22). What a man does in the moment of praise says everything about him. If he does not quickly dismiss flattery with a smile, someone needs to warn him of life’s hardships before him. If he accepts praise for someone else’s work, he is simply to be rebuked. And if he accepts praise that belongs only to God, you might want to step aside least the wrath of God descend upon him suddenly.It was that sudden wrath that befell Herod Agrippa: “Immediately, because Herod did not give praise to God, and angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died” (Acts. 12:23).Herod Agrippa had seized the opportunity to gather political points by trying to destroy the church. And that goes on today. Remember, it is God who brings evil to justice. We walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, when praised, it is hard to be humble, but it remains the best and safest option to date.



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