Herod, an insecure ruler, craved public approval: a deadly blend. He was well aware of the events in Jerusalem and Judea.
His plan to execute Peter was only a people pleasing gesture.
Peter’s miraculous escape was perplexing. Herod, a man of few close friends and even less self-confidence, cannot admit that God is close and at work in the city. That requires humility.
In reaction Herod has the hapless guards executed.
And promptly leaves town.
Then Herod went from Judea to Caesarea and stayed there.
Caesarea is a city more to his liking, away from the spiritual tensions of Jerusalem.
He refuses to believe the reports and evidence of the all the events that witnessed to him. His blindness is a choice. A choice that keeps him, or anyone else, locked in insecurity, unholy cravings and the hunger for acceptance and approval of all but God.
A quarrel between Herod and the people of Tyre and Sidon provides another opportunity to acknowledge the God of Israel. A meeting is called.
“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."
When Herod, (who knew the law,) embraces the words of the people, approving of their idolatry, he signed his own death warrant.
How often are we tempted by the desire for the glory that comes from man, and in so doing, deny, or ignore the God of all glory.
The seductive beguilement of power, acclaim and riches and all the worldly benefits that come with it, is a deadly trap that will easily destroy us.
“Lord, protect us from the seductive power of the approval of man.
Keep us free from the wasteful and destructive desire of worldly glory that blinds us to your goodness and glory.”