Persecution and divine protection!

Scripture reading for February 8th: Acts 12, Psalm 28, Proverbs 28

Acts 12:1-5 “About that time Herod the king laid violent hands on some who belonged to the church. He killed James the brother of John with the sword, and when he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. This was during the days of unleavened Bread. And wen he had seized him, he put him in prison, delivering him over to four squads of soldiers to guard him, intending after the Passover o bring him out to the people. So Peter was kept in prison, but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church.”

Luke records a time of persecution for the new Church arising from Jews trying to stop the believers and Herod using his authority to go after church leadership. At first, it looked hopeless as Herod laid hands on James, the brother of John the Apostle. John was struck down by the sword of Herod’s soldiers. Then, seeing political advantage, Herod had Peter arrested. But it was the feast of Unleavened bread, the time right before the Passover celebrated by the Jews so Herod had him guarded by four squads of soldiers for safe-keeping. God made fools out of them all, unlocking the doors and escorting Peter to freedom while the soldiers slept! Earnest prayers of the church had great power! God protects His people–taking them home to His presence or delivering them from the enemy, giving them strength in each case!

Psalm 28:7-8 “The Lord is my Strength and my Shield; in Him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my soul I give thanks to Him. The Lord is the strength of His people; He is the saving refuge of His anointed.”

Prayer: Father God, You are my Strength and my Shield and a saving refuge for all Your people. You have blessed me and been faithful to me to deliver me from wicked men and the forces of evil. Thank You for the Church and their prayers for the saints and apostles. You hear and answer. Help me to never show partiality or to go after riches instead of integrity and truth. My heart trusts in You and I am helped daily!

Proverbs 28:20-21 “A faithful man will abound with blessings, but whoever hastens to be rich will not go unpunished. To show partiality is not good, but for a piece of bread a man will do wrong.”

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