I will praise thee for ever, because thou hast done it: and I will wait on thy name; for it is good before thy saints. Psalm 52:9
In Acts 12, Herod made a brilliant speech that was well-received by all the people who heard it. They began to lift him up and treat him as if he were a god because they were so impressed with how he spoke. Herod’s mistake in this story is that he started to believe what the people were saying about him, and he started to think he was actually pretty good – thank you very much. He did not give God the glory for the praise he was receiving, and God sent worms to eat him up.
Herod forgot several things that we, as young people, would do well to remember. First of all, Herod forgot that all of his ability came from God. Young men, in particular, fall into this category. Perhaps not realizing that there are not just thousands of professional athletes, but also thousands of young men his age that are much better than he, this young man parades around with an air of self-importance because he can score a certain number of points in a basketball game or score a goal in soccer. The reason he can even do things is because God chose to bless him with the ability he has. In his goodness, God chose not to make that young man an invalid or to be born with some physical disability that would prevent him from excelling at sports. God should get the praise for your physical ability.
The second thing Herod forgot was that God chose to lift him up. We believe in Providence, that God controls men and nations. God can lift up whom He will lift up, and God can keep anonymous those whom He wishes to keep anonymous. Any young man that God brings to the forefront of any field, whether it be in the area of sports, academics, or anything else, is only there because God chose to allow that young man to be lifted up. There have been plenty of people with lots of natural ability that God chose to never bring into the spotlight. God should get the praise when you are lifted up because of your successes.
Lastly, we would do well to remember that the same God that put you into that position can take it away from you tomorrow if He so chooses. Herod found that out the hard way. When he was lifted up in his own eyes, God had to bring Him down. In His wisdom, God chooses to bring certain young men to the forefront, and any praise that we receive as a result should all be pointed to the One who put us in that position.
Quote of the day: “The strength that comes from confidence can be quickly lost through conceit.”