Summary: God is sovereign. His rule is never restricted and His Word is never bound.
Hello everyone! Good morning. I hope everyone is doing fine and keeping well, not just physically but spiritually, in our walk with the Lord.
• Let’s listen to Him again, from Acts 12 today. Let us pray.
Dear Lord, we are here to honour You and to give thanks, for WHO you are and for all that you’ve done. We praise you for your steadfast love, for your mercies that never come to an end. Every day we receive our daily bread. Great is your faithfulness.
May our hearts be filled with joy and gladness each time we come and sing and read and consider Your Word. Grant us a growing faith in You and your Word.
May all who gathers together online be blessed today. This we pray, in Jesus’ Name. AMEN.
We have a remarkable passage in Acts 12. In one chapter, we have the death of the apostle James, the miraculous deliverance of Peter, the execution of the guards (at least 4 of them) and in today’s text, the death of Herod Agrippa himself.
• A very gloomy scene but the sovereign Lord still reign and He is in control, continuing the theme of last week’s message.
• God rules over the power of men and accomplishes His purposes. His will cannot be chained nor His purposes restrained.
We are going to see another of God’s sovereign act today, His judgement upon Herod Agrippa I (the first) in Acts 12:19b-25.
Then Herod went from Judea to Caesarea and stayed there a while. 20He had been quarreling with the people of Tyre and Sidon; they now joined together and sought an audience with him. Having secured the support of Blastus, a trusted personal servant of the king, they asked for peace, because they depended on the king's country for their food supply.
21On the appointed day Herod, wearing his royal robes, sat on his throne and delivered a public address to the people. 22They shouted, "This is the voice of a god, not of a man." 23Immediately, because Herod did not give praise to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died.
24But the word of God continued to increase and spread.
25When Barnabas and Saul had finished their mission, they returned from Jerusalem, taking with them John, also called Mark.
After telling us all about Herod Agrippa, from the start of this chapter, Luke ended with 12:24 “BUT the Word of God continued to increase and spread.”
• NASB puts, it continued to grow and to be multiplied.
• The BUT statement linked it with the preceding section. Luke was CONTRASTING what took place before.
• The Gospel did not cease to spread despite Herod’s attempts at killing the church. Herod’s scheme failed even with the killing James and locking Peter up.
• All the persecutions and killings could not stop the Word of God from being preached. The Word of God is not bound.
King Herod Agrippa I was made King over Galilee and Perea (when his uncle Herod Antipas was banished). Later his reign expanded to Samaria and Judea.
• He was considered one of the most powerful King of the east, almost equalled that of his grandfather Herod the Great, the one who ordered all the male children in Bethlehem to be killed at the time of Jesus’ birth.
• His grandfather Herod the Great failed to kill the child Jesus when he was born. Now we see his grandson Herod Agrippa failing to destroy Jesus’ church.
Acts 12 begins with Herod arresting believers and putting James to death, with Peter next in line. The church was forced to hide behind locked doors.
• The situation was dire. Imagine the church without James and Peter, the two inner-circle disciples of Jesus.
• It might look hopeless but the light of Christ shines. God intervened.
No human attempt at stopping the message of God can succeed, not even with the two most powerful kings reigning during those times.
• Ultimately, the truth of the Gospel of Christ will continue to be proclaimed, by the sovereign will of God.
• The situation might look messy and gloomy at times but the light of Christ will shine.
Herod lost Peter. He executed the guards and left for Caesarea. That’s where we pick up from the text today.
• Due to some falling out with Tyre and Sidon (coastal cities in Syria, North of Caesarea), Herod was angry with them and halted the food supply to them.
• Tyre and Sidon depended on the produce from Galilee. For the food line to resume, they had to appease Herod.
• And they got Blastus, Herod’s personal servant, to help them seek an audience with the King.
• The occasion came at a games festival honouring of the Roman Emperor Claudius Caesar, and the delegations from Tyre and Sidon came to meet the King.