When Christ was born, Herod the Great, King of Judea under Rome, had been in power for some years. He was renowned for his major building works. All with tax money, of course. Something anybody can do. We see his works on the rebuilt Temple reflected in scripture. Mark 12:1 (TLB) As he was leaving the Temple that day, one of his disciples said, “Teacher, what beautiful buildings these are! Look at the decorated stonework on the walls.”
Herod undertook many large projects and was lauded by his followers.
A great man we might think? Those of his day certainly thought so. As we see with the adoration of his grandson, Herod Agrippa, a few years later in Acts 12:22 And the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man.
But Acts 12:23 shares God's thoughts about him. "And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost.
The Herod worshippers were either mistaken or in fear of voicing their own opinion.
Why do we place so much trust in our modern-day Herod's — our political leaders?
Debatably, voters worship political parties at election time. We laud the great things 'our party' does while minimising the efforts of the 'opposing party', the one for which we would never vote.
Yet there was another side to Herod the Great. His B side. A side that should have brought concern to every human being. At the same time he was building his great structures, Herod was slaughtering babies in his uncontrollable search to kill Christ who was at the time a baby himself. (Matthew 2:16-18)
Killing innocent babies, or implementing anything similar, takes a particular kind of heart and mind. Not everyone can issue that order or piece of legislation.
If asked how much of our faith and hope we place in our political leaders and parties, we would answer "quite a lot." However, could we be unwittingly voting for a despot such as Herod?
Our responsibility seems to lie in Matthew 4:10 "...for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
In a land of mandatory voting, we have one mandatory rule. To serve the Lord. The fact is, we often undertake our voting with blind faith? As followers of Jesus Christ, we are called upon to vote as He would. When entering the polling booth, our role is to take with us the mind of Christ, not the mind of our own voting history?
Our responsibility is grave, to the point we need to know the small print before we choose? The small print is the raft of changes our Herod's purposefully neglect to inform us about in their campaigns.
Gradually over time, political parties and their Herod's have introduced many obscene practices. Practices they must introduce gradually, as it is the only way to get them past the voters. Some of these practices were not only inconceivable in former days but only practised by devil worshippers or behind closed doors. Yet today they are legislated in our own society —and have become OUR LAW.
Do we bear responsibility for that? For blindly voting for Herod without trying to uncover the wickedness smuggled in through the back door once in power?
Jesus calls us to be both wise and harmless at the same time (Matthew 10:16), but when voting, we find we leave the wisdom at home to become harmless and useless at the booth. We vote the fastest way that will get us out of there. We enter the biggest event that will change the moral fabric of our society, with little research or preparation.
We don't know what excuse Herod used on the people as he slaughtered their infants, but our Herod's seem to have sufficient spin every time they introduce their next degree of evil.
The people in the time of Joseph and Mary and Zechariah and Elisabeth had no power to vote in or vote out either Herod the Great or Herod Agrippa. But we have the right and responsibility to do just that with our Herod's. We need to know their B side before an election.
Today's prayer:Dear Lord, wickedness and perversion have cemented themselves in our land and in our minds while we drowsed. The wicked have gradually built their kingdom in our society. Please help our awareness in the future so we can vote according to Jesus' principles.
Photo by Elliott Stallion