James Was Killed; Peter Was Delivered – Acts 12

Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church. And he killed James the brother of John with the sword.” — Acts 12:1–2

And when Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know of a surety, that the Lord hath sent his angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews.” — Acts 12:11

The long line of oppression and self-exaltation by various Herods continued with Herod Agrippa executing the Apostle James and imprisoning the Apostle Peter.

Despite king Herod’s attacks, King Jesus delivered Peter in a miraculous fashion, sending an angel, removing his chains, opening prison doors, and returning him back to the church.

James on the other hand was not given the same deliverance. God allowed him to die. No angel came for him. He, like Stephen and John the Baptist, paid the ultimate price.

Peter would eventually be martyred, but this time he was spared. It is hard to understand why God allows one person to be delivered and another to be executed, but that is not our call to make.

We exist for the glory of God and we need to give Him honour and praise no matter our situation, whether we abound or are abased, whether we die or are delivered. Both James and Peter honoured Christ with their lives and their deaths, unlike Herod who did not give God the glory and was ingloriously punished.

What is going on in your life? Have you grown angry, frustrated, and resentful because God seems to deal differently with you than others? Remember that God can use us as He sees fit to bring Him glory. Let us focus on that purpose rather than what is going on with other people.

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