We worship a holy God who wants us to be holy. Be still before God, asking for a greater awareness of this holiness.
Read Acts 12:19-13:3
 After Herod had a thorough search made for him and did not find him, he cross-examined the guards and ordered that they be executed. Then Herod went from Judea to Caesarea and stayed there.  He had been quarreling with the people of Tyre and Sidon; they now joined together and sought an audience with him. After securing the support of Blastus, a trusted personal servant of the king, they asked for peace, because they depended on the king’s country for their food supply.  On the appointed day Herod, wearing his royal robes, sat on his throne and delivered a public address to the people.  They shouted, “This is the voice of a god, not of a man.”  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.  But the word of God continued to spread and flourish.  When Barnabas and Saul had finished their mission, they returned from Jerusalem, taking with them John, also called Mark.  Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul.  While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”  So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhy do you think Herod died such a horrible death?
In this section we wrap up the time in Jerusalem, return with Paul and Barnabas to Antioch and see how God calls them to move on. First we read of the demise of Herod (19b-23), not a pleasant man, rather someone with a large ego and disregard for others. He had also been instrumental in further persecution of the church, including the execution of James (Acts 12:1,2). Many despots rule by fear and end up having a highly inflated view of themselves; thus, we see Herod accepting this inappropriate adoration (22). God’s judgment was immediate and there for all to see. I wonder how the crowd reacted. This may well have been another factor in the continued spread of God’s Word (24). Barnabas and Saul then returned to their church in Antioch (25) where they were part of the leadership. In the natural course of things, as they were worshiping the Lord, this call is given (13:1,2). It can be hard for a church when a key leader moves on, yet here two out of five are to be sent off! Were there some who wondered, “How will we manage without these guys?” Or did they rejoice to see God at work extending his Kingdom?
Has God asked you to “move on” from any work? Do you wonder how to manage? Share this with God.
The Lord’s call is sometimes difficult and can require changes. Pray that you and your church will be obedient.
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