Becoming a disciple: Worship is a life and death business

Scripture – Acts 12:21-23

On the appointed day Herod, wearing his royal robes, sat on his throne and delivered a public address to the people. They shouted, “This is the voice of a god, not of a man.” Immediately, because Herod did not give praise to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died.

Observation

The people of Tyre and Sidon were seeking mercy and favor from Herod and not from God. They had been deceived into thinking that Herod was the one who supplied their needs. Herod liked that. He liked being treated like some kind of god, so he donned his “royal” robes and sat on his throne to deliver the speech to the people that would continue the idolatry in their hearts.

God is a jealous God. He alone is worthy of praise. When this happened to Herod, it was in the New Testament era. God did not change once Jesus died and rose again. He is the same yesterday, today and forever.

We cannot expect that just because we are living in the new covenant era, God will not continue to step in to make sure he is the only one who is being praised.

Application

Fear of the Lord. God and his jealousy for worship and praise is very real. Herod did not give him praise and was immediately struck down and eaten by worms.

Worship is so important. It’s important for our own sanity and our own safety. People come to us every day with the wrong idea that we are the ones with the power or the ability to help them, to rescue them, to have mercy on them. God needs always to be the one to whom glory and praise is given. It’s a matter of life and death.

Prayer

Father, please help me be acutely aware of every occasion I can and should give you praise. Let praise be on my lips for you are jealous of my affections and of my praise. Find me full of worship today. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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