Written by Mark Driskill:
Wednesday April 27, 2011
Read Acts 12:20-25
“Immediately and 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.”
King Herod stood before his admirers basking in their praises! He was at the top of his game. The Jews were pleased with him because he had killed the apostle James and was cracking down on the church. The people of Tyre and Sidon whom he had been angry with were now calling out praises to him because they needed him to provide food for them. For that brief time he finally had what he had been seeking all his life. He wanted everyone chanting his name and recognizing his greatness. He was so caught up in the hype of hearing his own name that he failed to see the motive behind their flattery.
You see, everyone was cheering for Herod for one reason only. He was doing what they wanted. Everyone cheers for you when you’re giving them what they want. They didn’t love him. They loved what he was doing for them. Herod was quite possibly the loneliest man in Israel. What is more pathetic than spending your life doing whatever it takes to keep people telling you you’re okay?
I fear that Hollywood, Washington, and not a few churches are occupied by lonely people who just want someone to tell them they are okay. They look powerful on the outside, but they spend their days doing whatever it takes to keep a fan base to make them feel wanted and to numb themselves to the hollow ache of a lonely life. This is why Jesus said, “What good does it do to gain the whole world and lose your soul?”
The tragedy of this story is that Herod learned all the important lessons too late. He spent his life drinking from the cup of human praise and in his highest moment the elixir of success turned out to be a deadly poison. How tragic that in order to get the temporary praises of man he was killing off the very ones who could have saved his life. What if instead of killing James and imprisoning Peter he had just listened to their gospel? He may have found that drinking from the cup of grace and forgiveness would have finally quenched his thirst for love.
How sad it will be on the day of judgment when so many who have mocked and rejected the good news, while pursuing the emptiness of this life, will cry out too late and step into an eternity without hope. The great tragedy of hell will not so much be the flames and brimstone. It will be the constant awareness that heaven had been just one prayer away and you threw it out for the empty flattery of this brief life. Oh friend don’t make Herod’s tragic mistake. Try what you may to fill your loneliness with the people and things of this world. There aren’t enough fans, enough lovers, enough drugs, enough money, or enough religion to satisfy your deepest need for love. But one sip of the water of life can satisfy you forever. Jesus said, “Whoever drinks from the water that I give will never thirst.” Come by faith to him today and let him fill the empty space.
Pastor Mark Driskill
Web Minister of Begotten by the word web ministry
See our website at http://ourchurch.com/member/b/bbtw
and www.facebook.com (to group “begotten by the word”)
Begotten by the word is a ministry of Helping Hands Christian resources-Evangelism Outreach www.hhcr05.org
(Feel free to copy in any way that will bring glory to God and further his kingdom.)
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Address: PO Box 1159 Jackson KY.