Unstoppable! 'Accepting False Praise' — Acts 12:20-22

Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Now Herod was very angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon. So they sent a delegation to make peace with him because their cities were dependent upon Herod's country for food. The delegates won the support of Blastus, Herod's personal assistant, and an appointment with Herod was granted. When the day arrived, Herod put on his royal robes, sat on his throne, and made a speech to them. The people gave him a great ovation, shouting, "It's the voice of a god, not of a man!"

— Acts 12:20-22 NLT

Key Thought

Herod continued his display of shrewd political maneuvering and manipulating. Our current story began when Herod had James, the apostle, executed. Then, he arrested Peter (Acts 12:1-3). He did both to please the Jewish leaders. Now, consolidating his political power, he accepted an invitation to speak to the important cities of Tyre and Sidon. The people there wanted to regain Herod's favor, so they overdid their honor. Their praise moved from honor to blasphemy when they praised him as a god. Herod knew his behavior was irreverent and arrogant. God did not ignore Herod's hubris, his murder of James, and his arrest of Peter, all of which he did for political gain. Herod's actions are so different from God's servants who always gave honor to the Lord God.*

* See the Related Scripture Readings in Acts below and contrast Herod's behavior with that of Barnabas and Paul!

Today's Prayer

Forgive me, dear Lord, for wanting to be seen as someone important. Guard my heart against pride and seeking personal fame. I want to be your faithful servant, O God, and bring your blessing to others so that Jesus gets the honor and praise for the good things I do. Dear Holy Spirit, as you conform me to the character and compassion of Christ, humble me gently and grow me in the ways of humility and graciousness. I ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Acts 12:1-23, 14:8-18
  • Proverbs 6:16, 18-19, 29:23; Psalm 59:12-14; Isaiah 2:11

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Illustration

Illustration of Acts 12:20-22 NLT — Now Herod was very angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon. So they sent a delegation to make peace with him because their cities were dependent upon Herod's country for food. The delegates won the support of Blastus, Herod's personal assistant, and an appointment with Herod was granted. When the day arrived, Herod put on his royal robes, sat on his throne, and made a speech to them. The people gave him a great ovation, shouting, "It's the voice of a god, not of a man!"

About This Devotional

Unstoppable! is a one-year devotional guide through the book of Acts. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage, a reflection and a prayer. The reflection opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges one to live for Jesus.

Unstoppable! is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.