Read Acts Chapter 12
Ac 12:19 ……….Then Herod went from Judea to Caesarea and stayed there a while. 20 He had been quarreling with the people of Tyre and Sidon; they now joined together and sought an audience with him. Having secured the support of Blastus, a trusted personal servant of the king, they asked for peace, because they depended on the king’s country for their food supply. 21 On the appointed day Herod, wearing his royal robes, sat on his throne and delivered a public address to the people. 22 They shouted, “This is the voice of a god, not of a man.” 23 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.
Men have always relished in the adulation from others. Hitler loved for the throngs to salute while they pledged their love and loyalty to him. Movie stars seek stardom so that they will be adored by their fans. Politicians are much more likely to speak to crowds of people who love them and agree with their positions. There is something about the nature of mankind that makes men desire to be viewed as someone special, someone a cut or many cuts above the average Joe. Herod was bathing in the warmth of the crowd who heard him speak in this passage. But something happened. God had had enough. He ordered one of His angels to take Herod’s life.
We could discuss why God chose to do this, and at the same time allowed many others to live who were just as guilty as Herod. We could wonder why He doesn’t strike down many of today’s leaders who seek the same adulations which Herod sought. We will not do that. Instead, we will take a peek at the character and nature of our Lord and Creator. Herod was struck down because he did not think to give God any glory or credit for the position he was given in life. If anyone believes that Herod did anything to gain his kingship, they would be wrong. Our Lord is fully in charge of the affairs of mankind. If God had not wanted Herod to play a role in the time of first century Christianity, Herod would not have been there.
The Lord is a jealous God. He requires that mankind come to know Him and worship Him. The alternative is worse than any of us can imagine. Eternal death is worse than any of us can fathom. How does this play out in our lives? It is likely that none of us will ever gain any significant measure of fame, fortune, popularity, or notoriety. Therefore, why is this an important point for us to think about?
Simply this. There is not a single one of us SSA men and women who have achieved anything apart from the blessings from our Lord and Savior. All of our talents, special gifts, abilities, any good thing we enjoy in life, have been bestowed upon us from His hand. All of the food we eat, every night we spend safe and warm in our beds, every time we experience even a moment of pleasure, are all because God has provided something for us. We have nothing good in our lives that we can attribute as an accomplishment on our own.
I look back over my life, and I see that at every turn, God was directing the show. From surviving my childhood, graduating from high school and college, getting a job and having a career, at every turn I can now see that God was the author of it all. I did not know it at the time. I thought I was just in the right place at the right time. I thought that my minimal amount of studying in school somehow pushed me over the top. Not true. God did it all, despite a lack of cooperation on my part. I own everything to Him. However, I am just beginning to scratch the surface of being thankful, and giving all the glory to God. I have a long way to go.
We must begin to think more about our blessings from God. If we don’t believe we have received any, we are only fooling ourselves. We can count many, if we will simply quit thinking about what we DON’T have, and force ourselves to see the evidence which lies all around us. SSA men and women especially have a difficult time avoiding pity parties, primarily because of the circumstances in our lives which caused us to become vulnerable to same-sex attractions. That seems to be the main focus of our thought processes.
Our Lord deserves every ounce of our thanksgiving and appreciation for all the good things we have in this life, no matter what they are. We are fully responsible for the bad choices we have made as we dealt with our same-sex attractions. Yes, some people in our lives are partially responsible, but that point comes under the heading of “between them and God.” Our responsibility in life is to glorify and honor our Savior. We are to spend our days living for Him, living for others, obeying Him, and glorifying Him. I wish I could say that I do a good job of that. I cannot.
Prayer: Oh, Father, I am so guilty!! Forgive me.