“When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:
“‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
who will shepherd my people Israel.’”
Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.”
~ Matthew 2:3-8
While many people have received the coming of the King with gladness and joy, that was not the case with Herod. As the wise men come to King Herod with news of a newborn King, we see Herod become threatened immediately. His dominion and power now don’t seem as strong as they once were and he will stop at nothing to establish his own kingdom for the foreseeable future.
Dominion is something we all crave. Our human nature pulls us in such a way that we kick against following after or submitting to anyone. It is this nature that drives Herod to the level of genocidal maniac as he tries His best to destroy the threat to His throne (Matthew 2:16).
It is the allure of dominion that draws our eyes back to the Garden of Eden. There, the draw of eating the fruit was to be like God and to no longer have to depend on Him. The only sovereign that man wants is himself and anyone else that wants to claim authority in his life is a threat to his kingdom.
The one certain reality for Herod’s kingdom – and every kingdom of man – is that it is fleeting. Herod will eventually pass his kingdom on to someone else either through conquest or death. His kingdom is eroding around him and it strikes fear deep into his heart.
The same certainty is true for our own lives. Our kingdom is always crumbling around us. Every bit of money that we ever work for will be given over to someone else one day. Our fame will fade and our possessions handed down. The kingdom of man has such a short shelf life with little staying power. That’s enough to strike fear into the heart of any man.
However, it is the kingdom of God that will stand. John reminds us in 1 John 2:15, “The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.” Submission to the one true King is the most meaningful decision man will make. It is a decision that goes against our selfish nature, but it is that submission that brings purpose and life to all who believe and submit.
May we be people who wholly submit to Christ as King over all.
Take a few minutes to reflect on your own life and see where you’re protecting your own man made kingdom. Ask God to help you in tearing down the part of your life that you’re not giving over to Him.