Summary: The psalmist makes it very clear that all glory and praise belongs to God. Herod Agrippa I made the tragic mistake of accepting praise that belonged only to God, and for it he paid a frightening price.
KING HEROD’S PITIFUL PLIGHT
“Not to us, O LORD, not to us, But to Thy name give glory Because of Thy lovingkindness, because of Thy truth.” Psalms 115:1 (NASB77)
The psalmist makes it very clear that all glory and praise belongs to God. Herod Agrippa I made the tragic mistake of accepting praise that belonged only to God, and for it he paid a frightening price. Let’s look at the man, his life, his grievous sin, and the punishment that followed.
HEROD HAD EVERYTHING THE WORLD COULD OFFER.
He was a man of great political cunning. Anticipating the accession of Gaius (Caligula) to the throne of Rome, he spoke boldly in favor of him; however when Tiberius was enthroned, he was imprisoned. After the death of Tiberius, Gaius was crowned and rewarded Herod with one tetrarchy after another until he became king of the Jews as was his grandfather Herod the Great.
With this great power came riches and popularity. He feigned Judaism and endeared himself to the Jews by convincing Gaius to abandon the plan to put a statue of himself in Jerusalem claiming divine honor. His gift of oratory eventuated in his death.
HEROD VIGOROUSLY PERSECUTED THE CHURCH.
”Now about that time Herod the king stretched out his hand to harass some from the church. Then he killed James the brother of John with the sword. And because he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to seize [imprison] Peter also.” Acts 12:1-3 (NKJV)
When the Lord miraculously delivered Peter from prison, Herod took out his vengeance on the soldiers and the prison guards. Consider:
“Then, as soon as it was day, there was no small stir among the soldiers about what had become of Peter. But when Herod had searched for him and not found him, he examined the guards and commanded that they should be put to death.” Acts 12:18-19 (NKJV)
HEROD ACCEPTED THE PRAISE AND GLORY OF THE CROWD
“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 12:21-23 (NKJV)
HEROD FAILED IN HIS ATTEMPT TO DESTROY OR DISCOURAGE THE CHURCH.
“But the word of God grew and multiplied.” Acts 12:24 (NKJV)
As Jesus had declared it would be, the Church was not overcome then… nor is it now!
"And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.” Matthew 16:18 (NKJV)