Saturday, October 11, 2014

Worm Food

“Now Herod had been very angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon; but they came to him with one accord, and having made Blastus the king’s personal aide their friend, they asked for peace, because their country was supplied with food by the king’s country. So on a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat on his throne and gave an oration to them.  And the people kept shouting, “The voice of a god and not of a man!”  Then immediately an angel of the Lord struck him, because he did not give glory to God. And he was eaten by worms and died.” – Acts 12:20-23

There’s an old saying that pride comes before the fall.  It originated with a Bible verse.  Proverbs 16:18 says “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.”  Why is it important to know that it comes from the Bible?  There are a lot of saying that are nothing more than quotes, superstitions, or old wives sayings.  But because it originates in the Bible, we can know that it holds truth.  Therefore, when you feel pride, expect to the fall of your pride and destruction on the horizon.

Pride is a terrible disease of the heart.  It is a form of idolatry whereby we begin to worship ourselves, seeing ourselves as better than others.  There’s nothing wrong with having good self-esteem, but there is something terribly wrong when we begin to see ourselves as more worthy than someone else. 

For many years before Herod Agrippa I’s reign, Galilee had supplied Tyre and Sidon with all their provisions.  Tyre and Sidon were small in territory and needed the supplies to survive.  King Solomon sent grain and oil to them every year as reported in 1 Kings 5:11.  But for some reason, Herod was angry with them. 

This put fear into the hearts of the Tyre and Sidon citizens, who depended on the supplies from Galilee to live.  Having a friend on the inside of Herod’s household, they decided to appear before him and beg for peace.  Keep in mind that these people were not wealthy.  They could not afford food to buy for themselves.  And on that day when Herod appeared before them, he donned himself in the great apparel of a roman emperor – royally dressed, crown and all.  When the people began to shout “The voice of a god and not a man!” he accepted their praise. 

What happens next is gruesome!  God struck him with worms.  Notice that it says “he was eaten by worms and died”.  The worms didn’t eat him after he died, but before! 

God’s reasoning for giving such a punishment?  Herod did not give God the glory for all that he had, and for what he was giving to the poor in Tyre and Sidon.

We often come in contact with people who we believe are blessed with material things above what we are.  Sometimes we can be jealous of their lifestyle and financial ease.  But understand that even with little material goods, we can fall into this same trap of pride. 

Pride isn’t tied to material goods.  We can have pride in our looks, our abilities, our relationships, our intelligence, or any number of things.  Recognizing you are blessed in these areas is not a sin.  But believing that you are of greater worth because God has blessed you greatly is pride.  Pride never has a happy ending.

Give God the glory He deserves for all your blessings.  For without Him, we are without even the breath we breathe. Consider that he made us out of dirt – nothing but dirt, the food of worms.  Without the life that he breathed into our nostrils (Genesis 2:7) we would still be nothing more than worm food.

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