On an appointed day Herod put on his royal robes, took his seat on the platform, and delivered a public address to them. The people kept shouting, “The voice of a god, and not of a mortal!” And immediately, because he had not given the glory to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died. Acts 12:21-23
Every year there is a day dedicated to Claudius Cesar. On this day Herod is arrayed in a robe so covered with silver that at sunrise the rays make it glitter dazzlingly into the eyes of hordes of admiring onlookers. The people shout, “It is the voice of a god!” as if they are in the presence of a prince. It is profane flattery. This glory Herod takes only for himself.
And immediately, for God acts without delay, God vindicates His honor and sends an angel to strike Herod down. Older historians say nothing and yet an angel brought Peter out of prison and here an angel strikes down Herod. Those who saw these angels were the people of God. Believers; Spirit led. Herod is struck down because he does not give glory to God.
Upon being struck, Herod is eaten by worms or vermin, and after five days of awful torture he dies. And thus ends the persecutor’s life. Now, believers in our One true Savior and Lord grow and multiply exponentially. The living Gospel of good news in Jesus Christ flourishes. My friend, truly we live each day to glorify God.
As soon as he realized this, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose other name was Mark, where many had gathered and were praying. When he knocked at the outer gate, a maid named Rhoda came to answer. On recognizing Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed that, instead of opening the gate, she ran in and announced that Peter was standing at the gate. Acts 12:12-14
Peter realizes that our Lord has orchestrated his freedom from prison so he goes to the believer’s revival. At midnight they are in fervent prayer for Peter. They are praising God for Christ’s actions and miracles. And as Peter knocks on the door. Rhoda is so flustered with joy that she forgets to open the door, runs to tell the believers, and they believe she is mistaken that Peter is at the door.
Very few times have I have witnessed knocking at the door and before opening the door for an ambassador for Christ they’ve run to their friends to exclaim with the announcement, only to have the friends declare them off-balanced. Whether a person or an event change, our prayers are answered by our Lord and we may plainly see His actions in our lives. So then it is time to embrace the visitor at the door to our hearts.
Open the door. Believe that He is powerfully acting in your life all the time and in all circumstances. Yes, at times you will need to have patience and yet if you look very closely with the Holy Spirit’s help you will see Him doing almost unbelievable things for you. Recently a man said to me, “I could write a book, and my friends have encouraged me to do just that, about how our Lord is speaking to me though my life’s events where I could literally see Him changing hearts of others in order to make a way where there was no way for me to go forward for Him.” Alleluia.
Rev. Patricia E. Walker, AlphaChurch.org
Then Peter came to himself and said, “Now I am sure that the Lord has sent His angel and rescued me from the hands of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting.” Acts 12:11
Peter is sure in our Lord though questioning. When the angel says, “Follow me,” Peter may be thinking that he may still be dreaming or perhaps not. The angel awakened him as he slept between the two guards, chained by the wrists to them, then led him through two wards and the gate opens by itself. As the angel’s light is dimming and the angel is leaving Peter now knows where he is at, left in the city darkness.
Like Peter, our Lord will give you an extra amount of assurance that He is with you until you get to the place where you can go ahead because either experience or training allows you to take it from where He’s led you to. He does not desert you. He is completely faithful. And when you are unsure He is the One to completely count on for guidance in your One-to-one Spirit filled reliance.
Peter then goes to the home where Christians are, knocking on the door with Rhoda answering it. As he goes he is praising the Lord, thanking the Spirit, glorifying God with every step, and quiet joy consumes him. He is free. Free is quite an experience for all of us. Truly I tell you, if Jesus has done nothing else for you and me other than die on the Cross for our freedom then that is more than enough. Yet, He does not stop there. Our Savior is unstoppable in His love for us. He has persistent Passion for us to be sure in our Lord.