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Acts 12:20-25 AMP – Now Herod [Agrippa I] was [a]extremely angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon; and their delegates came to him in a united group, and after persuading Blastus, [b]the king’s chamberlain [to support their cause], they asked for peace, because their country was fed by [imports of grain and other goods from] the king’s country. 21 On an appointed day Herod dressed himself in his [c]royal robes, sat on his throne (tribunal, rostrum) and began delivering a speech to the people. 22 The assembled people kept shouting, “It is the voice of a god and not of a man!” 23 And at once an angel of the Lord struck him down because he did not give God the glory [and instead permitted himself to be worshiped], and [d]he was eaten by worms and died [five days later].
- People are saying that Herod is a God, they are praising him as a God
- The guy gets stuck down by an angel and for 5 days, he is eaten by worms and die
- Moral lesson, don’t call yourself God, otherwise you will die- Painfully
In order to really understand what’s happening here, lets look at the story of King David
II Samuel 6:12-15 – 12 Now it was told King David, saying, “The Lord has blessed the house of Obed-Edom and all that belongs to him, because of the ark of God.” So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-Edom to the City of David with gladness. 13 And so it was, when those bearing the ark of the Lord had gone six paces, that he sacrificed oxen and fatted sheep. 14 Then David danced[a] before the Lord with all his might; and David was wearing a linen ephod. 15 So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting and with the sound of the trumpet.
In this verse, the Israelites have received the ark after it had been taken by the Philistines. It’s a great story and all can be found is 1 Samuel. I encourage you read it.
Today we are going to take just a part of that experience where David is dancing for the Lord with all his might to a point of taking off his loyal clothes and dancing in his Ephod which was his inner clothes.
This is such a contrast because David would have been praised by the people because of getting the Ark back. We are not immune …. (2nd sermon ever)
Every Israelite was on the streets and saw him give God glory but some were not so pleased, like his wife Michal who thought that it was degrading.
However, David did not care what people thought, all he wanted to was to give God the glory he deserved.
This begs for an explanation, why David would go to the extent of dancing this way knowing that his position requested otherwise.
He has already sacrificed many oxen’s and sheep. Was that not enough? And why choose to dance with all his might to a point of laying his loyal robes down?
How many of you know that God’s heart is not necessary turned by sacrifice? That a sacrifice of praise has to come from deep inside and that our outside expressions is a confirmed of what is on the inside.
Proverbs 21:2 – Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, But the Lord weighs the heart.
God looks deeper in our hearts and knows those things that you and I are doing, those things that ARE for His glory but He also sees those things that we WANT to be for his Glory
So what moved David to dance with all his might to a point of undressing?
If you may, making sure that nothing was holding his back from giving God the glory.
In order to understand David, we have to examine David’s life. Coz even though the moment was an energetic one, the Israelites getting back Ark, which we can easily say that everyone was excited…. Like when you into a football game, it’s hard not to join in the cheers regardless of what going on in your life.
But David praise was not momentarily.
See – David was born in the house of Jesse. He had 7 other brothers but his job was not glamorous. He had to tend sheep. Just for the record, been a Shephard was a job usually reserved for the LEAST esteemed of the family or its servants.
The bible doesn’t say much about the time he got assigned to this job, but my initial feeling is that, once he was set on this path, there were no other skills in his life that he was going to learn other than been a Shephard. He was forever going to be the LEAST of humanity. That his nationality, his location, his family, his social status all contributed to labeling his as a Shephard.
He was the youngest and didn’t have a say, he was just assigned this task and that was it.
Just like David, the world is quick to label us and it has put so many tests in place to prove our labels, and they demand that we all fit in at least one of them.
We are quick to adopt these labels instead of looking up to God. These labels are our worship – I am this and that …now imagine how cool I am.
Our creator / Porter says, Son! Daughter I made you in my own image…So just so you know, I reserve the right to tell you who you are. And in case you forget, I wrote it down for you, and I will go one further and send you the Holy Spirit to be a consistent reminder of who I say you are.
Just so you know:
Jeremiah 29:11 – 13 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.
Ephesians 3:20-21 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him beglory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen,
Think about if for a moment, David is in the wilderness. Nothing around him, just sheep and many dangers.
He only had his music instrument, and it’s at this low point of his life, he chooses to make the best of his situation. David had many hours of alone time with God. He practiced playing harp which was one of the talent that God used to give him favor with King Saul.
When Saul needed peace only David music would provide it.
I Samuel 16:23-24 And so it was, whenever the spirit from God was upon Saul, that David would take a harp and play it with his hand. Then Saul would become refreshed and well, and the distressing spirit would depart from him
Not only did David have ample time to practice his music but it’s in the wilderness that he learnt that God’s strength was sufficient for Him. When the sheep would be attacked by lion and bears, this young boy barely a teenager would kill them with his bare hands.
David saw God strength in his lowest moment.
1 Samuel 17:34-35 – But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep his father’s sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock, 35 I went out after it and struck it, and delivered the lamb from its mouth; and when it arose against me, I caught it by its beard, and struck and killed it.
I don’t want you to miss this, David says…” When the bear took the lamb” God had to allow the sheep to be taken!!!, He had to power to prevent the lions and bear from coming but His power was demonstrated in the midst of a struggle.”
I went out and DELIVERED the lamb from its mouth!!!
The bible says that the same power that raised Christ from the dead, resides in us.
This evening, I am asking you what has the devil taken from you?
Do you have the confidence to go after him and face him and DELIVER that which he has stolen?
It’s through your victory that hope will be created. And a new strength will be realized that when you now face a bigger 9 foot giant holding a spear
You will stand strong and proclaim that ““You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.
You come to me with my past, with my struggles, with my short comings, with my weakness but I come to you in the NAME OF JESUS WHO PAID IT ALL FOR ME!!!
And no matter what the world is doing, you will stand stall. When everyone is running and retreating, you will move forward not with your own might but because of Who God has said you are.
See David is not dancing because of the physical presence of Ark, He is dancing because he knows that the Ark represent the presence of God.
That when he is in the presence of the Lord, he is strong!! He is secure, he is confident, He cannot be moved!!! He remembers what God has already done in his life, he knows the secret to a powerful life. Constant relationship with God.
Time and time again, we have good intentions. We have our morning devotions, we take time to pray, we come to church, we do all the right things in our own eyes and these things are necessary in order to grow, but it’s easy for them to be a routine.
See David, gathered all the people of the town “shouting and with the sound of the trumpet” He sacrificed animal which was a great honor then… Which was a good thing! But it wasn’t until he removed all the armor and was able to move freely and the true worship become evident.
David understood that that which man had made to protect him was a good thing but also had the potential to limit him from fully giving God the Glory that he deserves. He had to put the weight down!
For him it was the armor, the spear the shield, but for us that might be represented by something different. What is that in your life that even though it is meant to protect you, you have held it so close that is has now become a wall, a limit to reach Gods heart, to worship God with all your strength?
What or who are you trusting today. David remembered that when he was in the wilderness, it was only Him and God. And he conquered bears and lions.
He understood that now he might be more glamorous and have better things that protect him but at the core of it all, when the music stop and all is stripped away! And he simply comes to bring something that is of worth, it’s not the things that he has acquired or the persona he now forges that is required. He just wanted to bring a pure heart to God.
Loose the weight, God does not require all those things, he requires your heart. An open heart.
He knew that, there was no way of him fully dance and give God the glory with the weight of the Kings Clothing. Somethings had to go, no matter how important they seemed. They just had to go!
We carry these things that are shinny that represent who we are on the outside, but unless we are willing to shed some of these weights, they will become a barrier that will stop or limit us from fully realizing what God has in store for us.
Our intentions are pure, but these structures can easily become shackles. Which limit us to get to where God wants us to be.
His praise was not necessary the best – I bet there were way better dancer: but it allowed him to let go and let God, use him for his glory- This is why this specific verse made it in Samuel. There are so many other details that were left out but this specific one was deemed necessary by the Holy Spirit.
We have to live our lives like if another testament would be written, would your praise at least make one line? I hope for a whole chapter myself.
David was not a perfect man, but one thing was for sure. He loved the Lord with all his heart.
Acts 13:22 – 22 – And when He had removed him, He raised up for them David as king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.’
God raise up David as a King after Saul because He knew that David sought God’s heart and would do his will.
We have to live for the audience of one, because no matter what we do, there will always be someone who will think otherwise. David faced this in his own household.
2 Samuel 6:20-22– Then David returned to bless his household. And Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David, and said, “How glorious was the king of Israel today, uncovering himself today in the eyes of the maids of his servants, as one of the base fellows shamelessly uncovers himself!”
21 So David said to Michal, “It was before the Lord, who chose me instead of your father and all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the Lord, over Israel. Therefore I will play music before the Lord. 22 And I will be even more undignified than this, and will be humble in my own sight. But as for the maidservants of whom you have spoken, by them I will be held in honor.”
I love this interaction here, because it serves as contrast to guide us a measure of how much “with all his strength and might” David danced. Think about it, who is in a better position to confirm the energy you put out in any activity than your spouse.
These verse here leaves no room for thinking otherwise. David, danced with all his might before the Lord!
He didn’t care!! Not in arrogance, but because he knew whom he belonged to.
To him all that mattered was that HE GAVE God the glory!! He was not concerned about being unfriended on Facebook because he proclaimed that he was in love with Jesus.
He didn’t look around in church as the praise was going on to see who was looking at him and then decided at which point he would be a participant instead of spectator. He just did it. One of favorite business slogan is the shoe makers Nike “Just do it”! It leaves room for no excuse. When it comes to praise we should adopt the same spirit “JUST DO IT!
But I am having a really bad day – Just do it!
I am not there yet – Just do it
I don’t like the song … Just do it.
My friends will think that I am weird, they already do – Just do it!
Psa. 150:2 – Praise Him for His mighty acts; Praise Him according to His excellent greatness!
Psa. 35:28 -“ And my tongue shall speak of Your righteousness And of Your praise all the day long
Psa. 95:2-3 -“ Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. 3 For the Lord is the great God, And the great King above all gods.
Psa. 35:18 “ I will give You thanks in the great assembly; I will praise You among [a]many people.
Heb. 13:15 -“Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, [a]giving thanks to His name.
And my all-time favorite!
Psa. 100:4 -“ Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name
“He inhabits the praises of His people.” Psa. 22:3
Let’s bring it all together, what does David has to do with Herod
Acts 12:21- 22On an appointed day Herod dressed himself in his [c]royal robes, sat on his throne (tribunal, rostrum) and began delivering a speech to the people. 22 The assembled people kept shouting, “It is the voice of a god and not of a man!”
Herod did not praise himself- He positioned him in a place to be worshipped.
We were made to worship, and if you don’t choose to worship God with all you have, you will worship something else …and that other thing will point you to be a Herod
We have to be careful of what people say about us and how we receive it
Our heart can deceive us – and we can easily turn into Herod at a moment ….but if we take David approach, to truly worship God, the remember where we came from, what God has done for us…then we will never turn worship away from God!