As Herod killed James and learned it pleased men, he proceeded further and captured Peter intent on killing him after Easter. So Peter was kept in prison. Ahh, but this gave Christians time to pray, and pray they did continually! Meanwhile Peter slept in prison, chained between two guards, God went to work.
While Peter slept soundly, (can we sleep soundly during a time like this in our lives?)
God sent an angel to wake Peter and told him to arise and then the chains fell off from his hands. “Quick get dressed and follow me” said the Angel, and while Peter followed the angel Peter couldn’t believe it was all true, it seemed like a vision or dream. When Peter came to himself he realized he was on the outside and free.
So Peter journeyed on to the house of Mary the mother of John and knocked on the door. When the servant girl heard Peter’s voice on the other side of the door she was so excited that she forgot to open the door but ran straight in to the house to tell all inside who were praying that Peter was alive. In the meantime Peter was still knocking, so they all rushed to the door to let him in, they were all astonished so Peter tried to quiet them all to tell his story of deliverance at the hand of the angel. Word was sent out to James and other believers.
Meanwhile back at the jail, the soldiers were up in arms as a prisoner lost on their watch meant death to those responsible. Herod was sorely displeased with the outcome and had the soldiers killed.
On a scheduled day and appointed time, Herod, the orator that he was, sat on his throne and addressed the people in all his finery. The people in turn showered Herod with beautiful flattery as was the custom as they desired peace even if it meant flattery at all costs.
The people shouted unto Herod…”Your voice is as the voice of god, and not of a man”
They were pouring it on pretty thick, and Herod drank it in.
The Bible says that …immediately…the angel of the Lord knocked Herod down.
Why? Because Herod did not give God the glory, but took it for himself!
Not only was Herod knocked down but he died a tortuous death being devoured by worms. Not a pretty picture.
The life of Herod ended, but the word of God which Herod tried to silence, grew and spread and multiplied! The hearts of men were strengthened, the enemies were humbled, and those who opposed and attacked the work of God were filled with fear.
Today in History…
1839 - Scottish clergyman Robert Murray McCheyne wrote in a letter: 'There is nothing like a calm look into the eternal world to teach us the emptiness of human praise.'
Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,
To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen. Jude 1:24-25