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The Herod Syndrome

Words of Faith Final

The Herod Syndrome

Words of Faith 1-4-2021

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2020

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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Matthew 2

    [7] Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. [8] He sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him."


       Not every ruler who shows interest in Jesus has the Kingdom of God at heart.  Herod is proof of that.  Perhaps Herod's duplicity should have been obvious, but the Magi did not seem to understand.  This king was interested only in his own kingdom.  The same is often true today even though it may be less obvious.

       We might call this the "Herod Syndrome." Power is a frightening thing and many who rule quickly become far more interested in their own kingdoms than in the Kingdom of God.  Herod was the first politician to say that he would worship Christ, only to later betray Him, but he was not the last.

       From the city council to Washington D.C. genuine integrity and true public service seem harder to find.  Why?  This is not rocket science.  It is because of our human sinfulness.  In the natural, we are far better at self-serving than we are at God-serving.  We are bent more toward serving ourselves than we are serving the public. This is our sinful nature at work.

      These matters are not true only in the realm of political power.  We all struggle with the tendency to serve ourselves even if it is not in the visible stage of world events.  The temptations are not even so much to sell out for a big payoff.  I have noticed that people tend to lose integrity in tiny steps more than in huge falls. 

      The same is true for all sorts of leaders who compromise by shades of gray a little every day.  Christian leaders.  Denominational leaders.  No one ever sets out to embrace heresy; they just find themselves there one day. No one ever sets a goal to deny the Gospel; they just take baby steps and get there one day. 

       So, there is a big truth here.  We sometimes rush through this text at Christmas time and miss it.  There is a call here to pray for the nation's rulers that they will genuinely seek Jesus.  There is a call to pray for elected officials to do more than pay lip service to the King of kings.  There is a call here to pray for leaders to seek the Lord with all of their heart and not just for the image or sound bite.  There is a call here to vote for those who are redeemed and surround those elected with prayer. 

      There is also a need to look inward with the illumination of the Holy Spirit.  This is a good time of year to do a careful search for Him so that indeed we may go and worship Him in Spirit and in Truth. This is a good year to look inward and ask the more difficult questions.  Have I been compromising?  Do I look more like the world of more like Jesus?  Do I pay more lip service than I would ever want to admit?  Do I need a personal reformation?


         Lord, I lift the leaders and rulers of my country to Your throne of grace.  I pray for Your protection, conviction, wisdom, grace, courage and guidance to be with those who make decisions that affect others.  I pray for integrity in government. I pray that you would search me and reveal in me any areas of compromise.  Show me the ways that I need to change in order to honor You. In Jesus' name.  Amen.


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© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2021

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)       

2820 Business Center Blvd.

Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200

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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail, excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.