Being eaten by worms is an ignominious end in any language.
That was the punishment that God meted out to Herod for taking glory upon himself. When the people of Tyre and Sidon kept crying out, “The voice of a god and not of a man!” Herod drank in the praise, having no thought for Whom it belonged (Acts 12:22-23).
Herod had recently had the apostle James put to death and Peter imprisoned with the same fate in mind (Acts 12:2-3). Ironically, Peter was delivered as the saints gave glory to God in prayer, but Herod was struck down as his flatterers gave glory to him in fear.
Luke did not fail to connect the deadly demise of this enemy of the cross with the spread of the Cause that Herod had tried to destroy. He wrote: “But the word of the Lord continued to grow and to be multiplied” (Acts 12:24).
After healing a paralytic in Lycaonia, Paul and Barnabas found themselves surrounded by frenzied worshipers; they called Barnabas, Zeus, and Paul, Hermes. Paul was quick to stop this attribution of “divine” glory being heaped upon them. Instead, he immediately directed them to the glorious Cause for which he had come. He said, “We are also men of the same nature as you, and preach the gospel to you that you should turn from these vain things to a living God” (Acts 14:15).
Compared to God human beings are frail creatures. They are full of vanity and irrational pride. Strangely, they act as though they always have been and always will be. Consequently, the world makes its own causes to glory in. They love to make heroes out of the bad and villains out of the good.
However, as believers we have but one Cause to glory in—The Christ and His Church!