God’s Judgment on King Herod

It was F.B. Meyer, I believe, who once said that when we see a brother or sister in sin, there are two things we do not know: First, we do not know how hard he or she tried not to sin. And second, we do not know the power of the forces that assailed him or her. We also do not kno … More


After Peter’s escape, Herod cross-examined the guards and ruthlessly ordered their executions (v. 18). In that day, if a guard permitted a prisoner to escape, Roman law required that he receive the same punishment that the prisoner would have received (v. 19). After this Herod went to Caesarea. At that time, Herod had a quarrel with the people of Tyre and Sidon, to the north of Palestine. Tyre and Sidon were dependent on Palestine for their trade revenue and for food supplies. Therefore, maintaining good relations with Herod was crucial. 

These people succeeded in gaining the ear of Blastus, the king’s chamberlain, and a public session was arranged. Herod, venting his ill will on Tyre and Sidon, proceeded headlong to his doom (vv. 20-23). While he was delivering a speech, the people honored him as a god. By flattering the king and calling him a god, the delegation hoped they could get from him what they wanted.  Evidently Herod was being watched, as we are being watched. At this point the watcher smote him. Herod had gone too far. A terrible illness (‘eaten of worms”) suddenly fell upon him, and he never recovered.  God judgedHerod with death. He had crossed the boundary between God’s mercy and wrath. Man has essentially made himself his own god. God has not always judged evil officials as He judged Herod, but He has always preserved His witness in the world. 

At the beginning of this chapter, Herod seemed to be in control and the church was losing the battle. However, at the end of the chapter, Herod is dead, and the church is very much alive. The secret was a praying church! After Barnabas and Saul had done their work (Acts 11:29-30), they returned from Jerusalem to Antioch, bringing John Mark with them (vv. 24-25). 


Like Herod, have I recently had a puffed-up view of myself? I need to spend time in God’s Word and in Prayer to remind myself of who I am in Christ. He is everything and I am nothing without him. 

Acts 12:18-25 (English Standard Version)

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