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Only One risen Saviuor

Only One risen Saviuor
There is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved - Jesus

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Acts Day 138 - Full Circle

12:20 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.
21 So on a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat on his throne and gave an oration to them. 22 And the people kept shouting, “The voice of a god and not of a man!” 23 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.
24 But the word of God grew and multiplied.

Acts 12 ends with sharp irony. It began with James the follower of Jesus being killed by Herod the king and defender of the Jews. As wrong as it was for James to be executed the chain of events makes sense from a human/political point of view. However the chapter ends with the death of Herod, not at the hands of Christians, but a victim of his own pride.

Tyre and Sidon were west and north of Galilee. Jesus had visited the region and performed miracles of healing there even though it was considered a vile hopeless place even by His own disciples at the time. These twin cities were weak at this point in history and economically dependent on Herod. For some reason he was angry at them which made them vulnerable to what we would call today economic sanction. Recognizing their fragile position they won the favour of Herod's right hand man and gained an audience with the king. All of this is normal political maneuvering. They used the meeting to stroke Herod's ego and seek peace. He in response gave a speech. We are not told what he said but the delegation from Tyre and Sidon used the moment to heap praise on him, even calling his voice the voice of a god.

We need to understand that for the delegation from Tyre and Sidon and for many of the people groups outside Judea this was perfectly normal. Kings and Caesars etc... we're often considered gods. However Herod was king of the Jews. He had just had James executed for preaching about a man (Jesus) who claimed to be God. Now here he is permitting foreigners to stand in his court and call him a god.

This one chapter is a microcosm of human history. Herod like Satan pretends to be something he is not, is an enemy of God's true followers but in the end is done in by his own pride and self-serving behaviour.

If we are experiencing injustice we must remember evil always comes full circle. If we are entrusted with a position of power like Herod was we must remember there is only one King.
Satan may appear to win some battles but Herod couldn't stop the advance of God's kingdom and Luke, the author of Acts tells us that while worms were eating Herod God's kingdom was continuing to advance. Good triumphs over evil. Humility trumps pride. Jesus is God, and His love wins

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