Devotion:  Acts 12:1

Harassment!  It’s nothing new.  Ask Fox’ News contributor’s Bill O’Riley.  He’s been accused of sexual harassment and fired from his own show.  He apparently was on the giving end of harassment.

Synonyms for harass found in Webster’s include: break, burn out, bust, do in, do up, drain, fag, fatigue, frazzle, exhaust, kill, knock out, outwear, tire, tucker (out), wash out, wear, wear out, weary.

Harassment or bullying; call it what you will, has been around since Bible times.  It comes from the lowest of the low and in Acts chapter twelve; even from the office of the king.  Herod sought to harass some from the church.  He must have been bored doing his ordinary kingly duties.

After killing James the brother of John, Herod saw that it pleased the Jews so he went after Peter.  Often, harassment originates from a person who seems to enjoy seeing others broken.  It helps the harasser to feel empowered and in control.  As we see in Acts twelve; it can lead to persecution and even death.

Why do you think Herod placed Peter under four squads of soldiers?  Herod had heard of all the miracles these disciples were performing.  He wanted to make absolutely sure, this Peter would not escape.

It’s interesting that Herod was planning to wait until after Passover to place Peter on trial.  Herod did not know Jesus as his Savior.  He did not understand the power of prayer.   Verse five tells us, “Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church.”

As a result of the prayers of the people; an angel was sent to Peter. His chains fell off.  He walked past two guard posts and an iron gate to the city opened of its own accord.  Peter was delivered from the hand of Herod and the cruel Jews.

God is greater than any harassment.  He can take what Satan meant for evil and turn it out for our good and His glory.

Prayer in Motion:

Lord, may I pray for those who are harassed or persecuted in any way shape or form.  Bring the harassers to repentance and restore to them the years the locusts have eaten.  Bring those who will not repent to justice.  In Jesus Name.  Amen





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