Day 18

Peter Rescued by an Angel

from the Acts reading plan

Acts 12:1-25, Isaiah 42:8, Mark 10:35-40

BY Abby Flynn

Herod’s death is one of those Bible stories that the little boys in Sunday school love to talk about. A greedy, self-consumed king who attacked the followers of Jesus gets eaten by worms. Worms, of all things. Can you imagine? But if we just chalk this story up to being gross and weird, we’re missing the point.

In Acts, we see the followers of Jesus enduring persecution and hatred from the world, just like Jesus said. In chapter 12, Herod imprisoned Peter, intending to kill him, simply because he saw it pleased the Jewish people (Acts 12:3). Yet despite Herod’s evil intentions, God’s plans prevailed.

“But the word of God spread and multiplied.” —Acts 12:24

Herod’s earthly power and influence were nothing compared to the powerful prayers of God’s people (v.5). We see this when, despite being kept under heavy watch, Peter is suddenly rescued by an angel. Even Peter himself could hardly believe what God had done (v.9). 

Rhoda, a servant, is so amazed to hear Peter’s voice she can barely even think of doing the next thing! So she runs into the house, where everyone else tells her she’s out of her mind. But she knew what she heard. Meanwhile, everyone else still had to see to believe (v.16).

In this story we see different responses to the work of God: Rhoda, a lowly servant who gave witness to a miracle. Herod, royalty, who was consumed with his reputation and power, and struck dead for not giving the glory to God. He wanted all the glory for himself and was willing to do whatever it took to get it. 

Maybe the Lord wants to remind us through this passage that glory and honor look different in the kingdom. Here on earth, those who work hard and know the right people often get an honored place and position. In the kingdom of God, position and power do not equal glory. I don’t know about you, but that’s a reminder I need again, and again, and again.

Lord, make us willing vessels today, not for our good, but for your glory. Help us to focus more on what you’re doing than receiving places of honor. Remind us that you have not called us to be impressive, you’ve called us to be available as witnesses to your work. May your Word and your truth flourish and multiply through us. Amen.

Post Comments (48)

48 thoughts on "Peter Rescued by an Angel"

  1. Adrienne says:

    I don’t know what happened to my post… my iPad battery was low… maybe that was it. Anyways… IT CRACKS ME UP how Rhoda doesn’t let Peter in when he is at the door. But that she goes to tell everyone he is at the door! It is a good reminder to let Him in when I hear His voice.And that I should not just TELL others about Him, but show them how they can meet Him!

  2. Adrienne says:

    IT CRACKS ME UP how Rhoda doesn’t let Peter in, but runs to tell everyone that he is at the door! It is a good reminder to me, that when I hear His voice, and I KNOW it is His voice, I need to let Him in. And that telling others He is at the door is different than SHOWING them who He is! Lord, let me show others who you are by the life that I live.

  3. Michelle Hart says:

    Hi all! I am having a rough time. I decided to leave my nursing job in 2020 for a career change. I completed a technical bootcamp and am now looking for a job in my new career and I am having a hard time being unemployed and getting so many rejections. Please pray that God opens the right door for me!

  4. Sky Hilton says:

    This reading proves that prayer is POWERFUL! It should be given more respect. When we pray to God, we are talking directly to Him. Even better, when we pray for someone else without ceasing, like the people prayed for Peter, God will always find a way to help them, and in the end all of us. Everything that comes from God is holy, just, and right. He wants to help us, and we should let Him.

    This part of Acts also shows us the importance of giving God all of our victories, failures, and all of ourselves. When we fail to give God glory, we put ourselves first, something we should never do. It gives way to pride, which will only take us away from God even more. God deserves all of our respect, so we owe it to Him to give Him everything we are! We owe to God to be humble to Him… and to die to ourselves every day.

    *Also, we should all pray for the safe return of our brothers and sisters in the missionary circle in Haiti who were kidnapped!*

  5. Jennifer Anapol says:

    After reading this devotional I found myself wanting to see God show up in these crazy ways that we read about in acts. I was reminded that God works through the crazy and the mundane. Lord, help us to walk in your will❤️

  6. Dorothy says:

    After raising two boys of my own, I agree with Abby about how little boys would think the part of King Herod getting eaten by worms was neat. God wanted the people then and wants us now to KNOW HE is the ONE and ONLY GOD. He also wants us to know Jesus Christ is His Son and Christ died and rose again for our sins. God wants us to receive the Holy Spirit and continue to tell others about Him, Christ and the Holy Spirit. Will something as drastic as what happened with King Herod happen to us if we went against God, who knows? I don’t want to find out.
    Lord, help to spread Your Word, Your love and Your ways. Amen.
    Sisters, as always be blessed and know the Lord is with you always.

  7. Victoria E says:

    I was further contemplating the reading today and a question I have been struggling with came to mind. James was killed, Peter was freed, and yet both outcomes were good and resulted in God’s glorification. How can we know when bad things happen that they are God’s perfect will and not a result of sin or just living in an imperfect world? I feel as if I could be more joyful in a sorrowful or even tragic event if I could know that that was truly God’s perfect will. Any thoughts? I know He works everything together for good, however I know that not every atrocity that occurs in this world is His perfect will. Thanks in advance !

  8. Traci Gendron says:

    I commented on the website, I wonder why it doesn’t show up here?

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