Sunday, 22 November 2015

Daily Reading: Acts 12 'Expecting God to answer?'

It's one of my favourite moments in the whole of the bible, v13-14 record the arrival of an angelically rescued Peter at the house where the church was holding it's prayer meeting interceding with God on Peter's behalf.  He knocks on the door and Rhoda opens it, what happens next reads almost like a comedy sketch, you can imagine her eyes going wide as she sees Peter and then leaves him stood at the gate as she runs in and tells the others that peter is stood at the gate.  But before we are too harsh on Rhoda she is not the only one who finds it hard to believe that miraculous way God has answered their prayers.

Peter himself struggles to believe it (v9) Peter assume he is seeing a vision and it's only in verse 11 that "When Peter came to himself he said "Now I am sure that they has sent his angel and rescued me from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting."  Then he goes to the house of Mary.  Peter as he seeing the angel and obey his call to get up and walks past dozing guards assumes its a vision not reality.  And the early church are as incredulous as Rhoda is, what is their response (15) "You are out of your mind... and they kept saying it is his angel!"

We expect the soldiers an the Jewish leaders and Herod to be amazed but in this passage ewe see that the church is amazed too.  They have been praying but don't seemed to have expected this answer.  It's another reminder that God rules.  It's a spur to pray.  And it convicts me because too often I am just like them in my lack of expectancy when I pray.  God rules, he reigns, he acts.  Whilst his answer may not always be as we want, as James martyrdom shows, we are still to pray and expect to see answers.  Certainly when we see the answer standing there right in front of us we mustn't write it off as coincidence but praise God for his gracious answer to his people's prayers.

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