Three biblical kings named Herod share one common characteristic: wickedness.
Herod the Great, seeking to kill Jesus, killed little boys to protect his throne. Herod Antipas, the son of Herod the Great, beheaded John the Baptist.
Herod Agrippa I, whom we read about in Acts 12, was the nephew of Herod Antipas. He was delighted to burn Christians alive to satisfy his people. He commanded James’s murder and Peter’s incarceration in a top-security prison.
In prison, Peter’s hands and feet were chained, and he was guarded by four squads of soldiers. Because of the chains, he could only lie down on his side. This is why the angel struck him on the side.
The church knew of Herod’s wickedness and that Peter would not come out of prison alive. So did Peter. The church was threatened, knowing any Christian could be arrested. But Peter so trusted in God that he could sleep through these conditions.
The church then decided to pray in one accord, and God sent His angel to deliver Peter miraculously.
Today, many children are under the influence of the Great Herod of our time — poverty and ignorance. They are chained up by malnutrition, illiteracy, and ignorance. They are kept in the top-security prison of parental obscurantism, held by squads of demons and a gate fashioned by false religions and sects.
The people of God, the Church, knelt down to implore God’s grace for the sake of children, and He raised up this ministry to deliver children from their physical, economic, and social poverty and ignorance. It is to this we have been called.
So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him. The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard at the entrance.
Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. “Quick, get up!” he said, and the chains fell off Peter’s wrists. —Acts 12:5–7, NIV
Prayer: God, may your Church continue to kneel down and pray for Compassion so that children can be truly delivered from poverty.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Fidèle Lompo works as a Partnership Facilitator for Compassion Burkina Faso.
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