Acts of apostles 12:1Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church.Psalms 118:16 The Right hand of the Lord is exalted; the right hand of the lord doeth valiantly.
Greetings to all precious children of god in the matchless name of our lord Jesus Christ.
I once again give all glory and honor to my author Holy Ghost, who chose a worthless servant like me to glean the hidden truth of his unchanging word. It was afternoon of 12th June, when god gave me a great burden to pray. I don’t remember how much time I spent with my heavenly father but I could feel his gracious hands over me in each and every word uttered. He emptied me inside and filled me with his grace.
I would like to touch some important notes of the keyword which say ‘now about that time’, which made me think ‘which is that time?’ Jesus commanded his disciples not to depart from Jerusalem, but should wait for the promise of the Father. Later he said,“ you shall receive power, after that the holy ghost is come upon you and you shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem and in all Judea and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” Without receiving the power of Holy Spirit, you should not go anywhere and you cannot go anywhere. But when you are filled with the power of Holy Spirit, you should bear witness wherever he sends you…
And as Jesus promised, they were filled with the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost and during those days, many people accepted Jesus Christ and were baptized. Those who were saved were added to the church. Peter stood up and preached the word. God did many miracles through his servants. The lame started walking, dead started raising and many more people were added to church. They all were in one accord with one heart in Jerusalem, but sooner or later, church was under persecution. But this hardship was for the fulfillment of the promise. Even though the disciples received power, they still found it safe ministering in Jerusalem. They did not go to neighboring cities of Samaria and Judea.
In Acts of apostles, till chapter 7, we see that church was limited within Jerusalem. But after persecution and martyr of Stephen, they were scattered to the neighboring cities.
And those who were scattered preached the word and there was peace in Samaria and Judea. So the persecutions scattered the church to the uttermost part of the earth. If that test wouldn’t have come, they would have still ministered in Jerusalem alone.
God will give you his promise, but if you do not go according to his will, he knows how to bring you back in track. The power of Holy Spirit was manifested through the apostles and many people outside Jerusalem started to believe in Jesus Christ as the lord.
The gospel of god was now widespread like fire among the gentiles (house of Cornelius). They too received the gift of Holy Ghost. Even though one Stephen was martyred, God raised and stuck down Saul of tarsus to bear the witness among the gentiles. He had letters from high priests to bind the children of god near Damascus. But God struck him with his glory on the way, and he fell down and later, this Saul turned to Paul, who wrote 14 letters to encourage the body of Christ. The hand of the lord is exalted and does valiantly. He had one letter to persecute the church initially but when he was struck with the glory of god, he wrote 14 letters encouraging the church. What a change!! When Stephen was killed , Satan thought it to be the end of church. When the church was scattered, he thought that it’s all over. Satan was too foolish to understand the fact that the church is not build up on any earthly foundation or on any man or on any’ isms’ or religion. Instead, it is built on the rock, Christ Jesus. How much ever the devil attacks, he will not prevail, because the builder and the foundation of the church is Jesus Christ, the sovereign god. Now about this time, when the gospel of god was wide spread among the gentiles, as promised, ….there arose Herod the King, who stretched forth his hand to vex certain people of the church. He did not try to vex all people of the church but certain people. We have many people coming to church, but all of them might not have relation with God. Devil will not try to touch the ‘so called believers’ who comprise with him. But he tries to touch the ones standing for the lord. And god gave me one thought few days back “Devil will try to block you but I will continue on you”. The devil will try to bring hurdle by not allowing you to reach your destiny, but god will continue to pour out more grace continually to enable you to attain what he has promised you. He who began a good work in you is faithful to complete it. The right hand of the lord is exalted.
Remember! Herod was not a normal man. He was a king and had all authority and power to persecute anyone, anywhere at anytime. No one could cross question him. This powerful king stretched forth his hands towards poor people who were defenseless. Powerful king versus weaker vessels. Herod was not afraid even to kill somebody, and he proved that by killing James, the brother of John. When Herod found that this act pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. But the approach of the church touched me and my Heavenly Father removed the scales from my eyes and opened the treasure of revelation.
The church did not send any plea notification or an appeal, nor did they kneel before King Herod. Instead, they decided to kneel before the king of kings, Christ Jesus. The church knew another hand which was mightier than the hands of King Herod. Do not fear by seeing all those hands which are against you. But know one thing today, that the right hand of the lord does valiantly and is exalted for those who humble under his mighty hands. 1 Peter 5:6, ‘ Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hands of god,that he may exalt you in due time.’ The church humbled themselves under the mighty hand of god. Peter was surely taken to be killed with the sword, just like James. But the church was constantly praying for Peter. An interesting thing to notice is that the church did not pray for King Herod. They prayed for Peter. Had we been in their place, we would have definitely prayed for a change of heart of King Herod, or for him to be struck down flat. Why did the church pray for Peter and not for the King?
We don’t know what exactly they prayed, but I believe that they were praying for the strengthening of Peter. They were praying that heaven would pour more grace and peace on Peter, who was being planned to be killed. And we can see the result of this prayer in v 7. ‘And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains; and the keepers before the door kept the prison.’ How can you sleep when you are going to be killed by the sword next morning? Peter was sleeping. In other words he was in great rest, even though the next day was against him. The constant prayer of the church enabled Peter to have peace in his heart during the turmoil. This was the need of that time,’ peace in the heart of Peter.’ Church would have wasted the time, if they would have prayed for a change in King Herod. When we get stuck in a problem, we pray to god to solve that problem rather than for the grace to face that problem.
One sister called me and said that her office condition was not good and urged me to pray so that god would change her office condition. But I refused to pray for a change in the office condition. I told her that I can pray for more grace on her to face the situations. Dear reader, you may not get good situations around you, but the grace of the god is sufficient to hold you.
So don’t pray for a change around you but pray for a change within you.
Why did they not pray for Herod ? It was because the battle was of the lord. They didn’t have the need to fight this battle, because god had sent his angel before his people to fight for them. The Iron Gate and the chains were opened automatically. The right hand of the lord was exalted for his people. If god has planned to deliver you from what you are going through right now, iron bars is not an hindrance, chains will not block his mighty work, and hell cannot prevail against the mighty hand of God. All these will bow before him.
We all know the end of King Herod. He was arrayed in royal apparel and was on his throne at his peak time of rule, where people praised his oration. He sought his own glory more than the glory of god. He wanted to be praised by men. But he did not praise god. So the angel of the lord smote him and he was eaten of worms and he gave up his spirit. All men give up the spirit first and then are eaten up by the worms. But this king was eaten up by the worms first. Where was his power and authority ? He couldn’t even stop the worms ? How would he stop the church ? ….and V.24 says, ‘but the word of God grew and multiplied.’
The mighty King Herod was eaten up by the worms, but the word which he was trying to stop grew and multiplied….The Right Hand of the Lord is exalted and does valiantly.
The church was inferior in front of superior King Herod, but not by might, nor by power but by the power of Holy Spirit, they were victorious. Who helped the church to fight against the hand of mighty king ? It was nothing but the Right hand of god which did valiantly.
God bless you!!