Herod died because he did not give glory to God.
21 On an appointed day Herod, having put on his royal apparel, took his seat on the rostrum and began delivering an address to them. 22 The people kept crying out, “The voice of a god and not of a man!” 23 And immediately an angel of the Lord struck him because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and died.” – Acts 12:21-23
The angel of the Lord represents God. He is on the watch to see if men acknowledge God. The small and the great of all the earth are being watched and weighed. Herod failed the test and took upon himself the glory from men when instead in his heart and in his words he should have praised the Lord. The Proverb says,
“The crucible is for silver and the furnace for gold, And each is tested by the praise accorded him.” – Pro. 27:21
The crucible imagery is showing that getting praise is a very serious matter. So serious that when we are receiving it our ears should perk up and our spirit should focus quickly on the matter. It’s a test that shows if we are positively trusting in God or if we are negatively oriented towards the flesh. A spiritual man will be praised and it’s not anything that can be helped. A spiritual man passes the test of the crucible of praise because he’s ever poised to pass it on to God.
Man is the only creature in all of God’s creation who must choose to acknowledge and give God glory. The stars do it. The trees, rocks, and rivers do it. The beauty and complexity of all living creatures do it. But man alone has free will that he might choose to honor God. Indeed He must for it is a sin for man to receive honor and not give it to God. It is a test that many, like Herod, fail.
Sometimes praise is sincere and sometimes it is flattery. If the praise you receive is only flattery, you will regret the praise later when the motive is exposed: you will have been trapped by your pride.
When a man sincerely praises you, be careful because even then is a test. You have been placed in the crucible. It’s not necessarily that you are being set up, but be careful because what you do with it for it tells if you are carnal and prideful or if you understand yourself to be a servant of the Lord. Be careful with all praise, because even if it is sincere, there’s an unintentional pit you may fall in. Even deserved praise, “the praised accorded him”, should be received with your eyes open in a way that your spirit considers the Lord. Give God the glory and let the praiser know you are thankful to be His servant. A servant of the Lord wants the Master to receive the praise. You are the light of the world, not so men worship you, but so that they see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. Herod took the glory for himself and failed the test.
We will fail the test if we are weak in faith. That’s an unavoidable fact. This is such an important matter that it deserves to be addressed immediately in our prayers. If we are walking with the Lord, we are going to bear fruit. We must be ready to give thanks to God. Talk to God and ask for His help. Ask Him for forgiveness if we have trespassed here. Pray for wisdom and a discerning heart to avoid the pitfalls of pride. To be safe, let us consider the Lord’s workings in all of our affairs and give Him glory. We never know all of the ways that God’s hand is at work in our lives.