Immediately, because Herod did not give praise to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died. – Acts 12:23
Herod was the puppet king of Palestine who reigned during Jesus’ crucifixion. The biblical record informs us that he grew extremely proud over the years of his reign and even began to accept the praises of the people, unbridled accolades that would equal those normally bestowed upon God Himself. When the crowd began to treat Herod like a “god,” he might not have promoted it, but he certainly refused to deny it.
While history proves that King Herod accomplished great things in an earthly sense (buildings, temples, ports, financial gain, etc.), he remained a spiritual reprobate. Ultimately, God judged him severely for not acknowledging His essential part in the king’s personal success. Many historical leaders (yes, even those connected to Christ’s church) have been guilty of this same neglect, but may it never be you.
One way to surely lose your head is to let praise go to it.
God, strictly speaking, uses only the humble as His instruments. Yet, to fulfill His designs, He makes use of those proud folks who defy Him as His slaves. – Jean-Pierre de Caussade