Beware of putting your trust in Herod. i.e: political leaders, state solutions, legislation.
I was reading the interesting text in Acts 12 late Wednesday afternoon when the news started to roll in that the U.S. Senate had failed to pass any piece of gun legislation. Not one piece passed.
I had been optimistic that a rational balance might have been achieved between those who advocated individual gun ownership as a 2nd amendment right, and those who want what I saw as common sense restrictions. In that sense I was like most Americans, one of the 69% favoring limitations on sales of semiautomatic assault weapons, large-capacity magazines, etc. But Wednesday, rational balance did not carry the day.
Acts 12 drips with irony over the political conditions of the 1st century. Multiple times the writer notes the incongruity of Peter chained in prison while the Passover feast of freedom is celebrated. Furthermore, Herod, one of the “Herods” who massacred children, beheaded John, executed James and imprisoned Peter, is hailed as a savior by the crowd simply because he promised food and spoke with convincing words.
Herod soon dies. And within years the Jewish people are being annihilated by the same government that spoke so soothingly. Hum…beware the promises of the state.
So okay. I’m disappointed with our leaders. And I still believe we have responsibilities as citizens to vigorously engage in the political process. But the real thing I trust in and orient myself to, is the vibrancy of God’s power at work. The same God who wondrously released Peter from prison and preserved the Jewish people after a murderous Roman rampage. The God who told people to look for the power in small mustard seeds, and in random acts of kindness.
After paragraphs talking about the power of the Roman State, Acts 12 ends with this eight word phrase: “But the word of God continued to advance.”
And may that same word continue to advance. Today.