In Acts 12, Luke wants us to notice not only just the death of James and the deliverance of Peter but rather how longsuffering God is and how depraved men are and he accomplishes this by showing us the heart of Herod. Just as creation reveals God in all of his glory so the heart of men is revealed in all of their depravity. Herod, like us, falls into the category of one who has seen, heard, and experienced all of God’s grace. We all have a choice; repent and be forgiven or remain steadfast in our sins.
King Herod, rather than seeking to know about Jesus and His resurrection, seeks to silence the message and the messengers by arresting and beheading the Apostle James. Seeing how that pleases the Jews he has Peter arrested and plans his execution. But, God’s ways are superior to men and God will reveal Himself to Herod by delivering Peter because of the power of praying church. God’s grace is revealed to the guards and Herod through a unexplained miracle yet in retaliation Herod becomes livid and executes Peter’s guards. Pouting Herod retreats to Caesarea where he is proclaimed as God by men from Tyre and Sidon. Herod did not give the glory to God. Just as an umpire in baseball says: “you’re out!” so God called Herod and said “you’re out” “I am the Lord! That is my name! I will not share my glory with anyone else” [Is 42]
And yet, God graciously gave Herod 5 more days to repent. Did he or does he have this before him: Heb 10:31 “It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” Have you experienced God’s grace?