-Herod the king (Herod Agrippa I) began to lay violent persecuting hands on the believers in Christ including some of the apostles. James, the brother of John, was killed in this persecution, and when Herod saw that it pleased the Jews, he had Peter imprisoned during the feast of Unleavened Bread intending to bring him before the people after the Passover (Acts 12:1-4). What must have been the feelings in Peter at this time? He had to have anticipated the same fate as his Savior and fellow brother in Christ, James. These must have been intense days of suffering and other world expectation.
-However, the Bible tell us that the brethren were praying fervently for him and the Lord delivered him miraculously with His angel. The reunion was precious and almost unbelievable for those who were gathered in the house of John Mark’s mother, but Peter had been rescued. God was not finished with His faithful servant-leader yet and delivered him out of certain death (Acts 12:5-17). *Application* Our God has His timing for all things and will protect when He has a purpose and a plan for you. Walk in faith, God is sovereign. He will deliver you from the most strenuous circumstances and conditions when you are accomplishing His will.
-The narrative explains the large disturbance among the soldiers when they could not locate Peter, their prisoner. Herod Agrippa I made a search for him, but could not find this disciple anywhere. Upon examining the guards, he ordered their execution, and then departed for the west coast city of Caesarea Maritima. Now the text jumps to Herod Agrippa’s arrogance amidst receiving praise. He accepted man’s applause and the honor of being called a god to the anger and wrath of God Almighty. He was struck down because he did not give God the glory and worms ate his carcass (Acts 12:18-23). *Application* Make sure the proper credit is received by our Lord for all your success, right? There very well could be dire consequences for your conceit.
-The word continued to grow and be multiplied. Barnabus and Saul returned to Antioch from Jerusalem after they completed their mission (Acts 12:24-25). *Application* Multiplication of God’s Word in His church is a fundamental principle we need to grasp. We should have a growth mentality in our personal lives as well as the lives of our ministry and church. Spread the message of Jesus Christ and His Kingdom wherever we go. It will increase; His Word never returns void (Isaiah 55:11).
Verse to Memorize: Acts 12:5