Today’s blog continues with Dr. Rob Blackaby’s posts on The Story. This online Bible reading guide has gathered authors from around Canada to be featured and is produced by the Canadian Bible Society. Dr. Blackaby has served for more than nine years as the president of CSBS&C, and for thirteen years prior to that as a pastor and church planter.
Herod must have felt invincible. He seems to be in complete control of everything. He welcomes the flattery of those who celebrate him as a god. Herod says what he says in order to impress people. The people of Tyre and Sidon, looking to secure food to satisfy their hungry bellies, prostrate themselves before the tyrant and say whatever they need to say to him in order to gain his favour. Herod feeds off their flattery. The people feed off the morsels allowed to drop from the ego-driven king’s table.
What of the church? They are feeding on the presence and the promises of God. As chapter 12 begins Herod appears to be in charge and the church is in jeopardy with its leaders being hunted and slaughtered. Yet by the end of the chapter Herod is suddenly dead, the church is rapidly growing, and “God’s message kept spreading” (v 24).
How typical this event still is of the world in which we live. Anxious to satisfy a gnawing hunger people are willing to do whatever it takes to gain another morsel of food. Too often people will pay whatever price is required to get what they want. It can look like a feeding frenzy. The choice to live for the physical and ignore the spiritual is a recipe for disaster. Warren Wiersbe warns, “The world lives by force and flattery instead of faith and truth, and one day it will be judged.” (Be Dynamic. Wheaton: Victor Books, 1987, p.154) The people of God today, just as then, are most satisfied when we feast at God’s table and delight ourselves in him, and choose not to clamour after the trappings of the world.