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. (Acts 12:22-23)
Any time a leader becomes idolized by the people he or she is leading, that leader finds him or herself in a very dangerous position. The danger is this: when we praise a human being above God, we are saying that that human’s characteristics are above God’s characteristics. In doing so, we commit idolatry. However, when we realize that there is no being on earth comparable to God and that nothing anyone does can match up to the greatness of what God does, then we are putting God in His rightful place.
Herod’s downfall was that he didn’t give God glory – he stole glory for himself. When the people started worshiping him and claiming that his voice was not the voice of a man but the voice of a god, they were pitting him against God as if he were some kind of a rival. Could God allow people to foolishly believe what wasn’t true? By no means! That’s why he brought an end to Herod’s life on the spot.
Sadly, Herod’s earthly journey didn’t have to end the way it did. He could have simply told the people that the only power he had was given to him by God and that God is the one deserving of the glory. But being the glory hog he was, Herod took it all for himself.
Great people don’t keep glory; they pass it on.
In keeping glory, Herod made himself small, and it cost him his life. What do you do when people try to attribute glory to you? The wise thing is to pass it on.
Father, please keep me from ever believing that I should allow people to waste their time in giving glory to me. Help me to recognize that You are the only one who is worthy of any glory. Rather than taking glory for myself, let me find joy in passing it on to You.