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Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.
The Scriptorium

Power beyond Power

Caesar stop Him? Not a chance. Acts 12.6-9

The Right and Only King (2)

Pray Psalm 91.1-3.
He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.”
Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler

And from the perilous pestilence.

Sing Psalm 91.1-3.
(Lauda Anima: Praise My Soul the King of Heaven)
All who dwell within God’s shelter in His shadow will reside.
He our Tow’r, our Fortress ever, in Him we our trust confide.
From the trapper’s snares He saves us; safe from sickness we abide.

Read Acts 12.1-9; meditate on verses 6-9.


1. What precautions were taken in guarding Peter?

2. What did the Lord do to deliver him?

This story is so rich in meaning! Again, we note Herod’s precautions: Two soldiers, one on either side to guard Peter; two chains to hold him in place; sentries at the door (v. 6); four squads of soldiers positioned in various places around (v. 4). Herod is going to make sure that Peter doesn’t get out.

Perhaps he should have thought about how to keep God from getting in?

Suddenly, here’s an angel (v. 7)! Where’d he come from? Right there. In the unseen realm. All around us all the time (Heb. 12.1, 2). He just stepped through the veil at the Lord’s command and filled the cell with light. He came to deliver Peter. Why? For the ongoing work of Christ, of course.

But the angel is not going to do all the work. Peter must take responsibility for his part in this little drama. Next steps, next steps: Get up, get dressed, get moving! At each step, as Peter obeyed, weird, unlikely stuff happened. Chains fell off. Guards apparently didn’t realize what was going on, even though the angel had “turned on the light” for them. Peter thought this was a dream or a vision, but he obeyed nonetheless.

Christ is seated in glory, continuing His work of overthrowing the kingdom of darkness and the lie, replacing it with His own Kingdom (1 Jn. 2.8). He commands us to make all the nations disciples. And He commands angels to bring Kingdom power to bear on our behalf (cf. Ps. 91.11-16; Rev. 14.6, 7). “King” Herod gave it his best shot to do his “kingdom” thing to Peter. But the eternal King and His Kingdom are not subject to the whims and wiles of foolish men. Neither are His subjects: Get up! Get dressed! Get moving!

There is power beyond mere human power waiting to be discharged in and through us, if only we will obey (Acts 1.8).

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
This is such an exciting story! Every step, every action, every thing orchestrated by the hand of God.

But before the excitement started, the peace was preparatory: “…that night Peter was sleeping” (Acts 12.5).
And this was not a sleep brought to us by Sealy Posturepedic or Mattress Discounters. No. This was a sleep that only can be brought to us by Total Trust in God.

Look at his circumstances. He isn’t snuggled up in 800 count cotton sheets or covered by a feathery down comforter. Peter’s sleep aids were chains and a soldier on either side. No melatonin required.

So how did he come by this sleep? He knew the Scriptures and he believed them: “I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the LORDsustained me. I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people who have set themselves against me all around” (Ps. 3.5, 6). “I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; for You alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety” (Ps. 4.8).

Peter’s actions, his restful sleep, and his total trust in the loving hands of God, make his words written later in his life so believable: “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you” (1 Pet. 5.6, 7).

We, too, can experience this same peace. Peace that comes from knowing that we are set free from our sins.
We are called to “Arise quickly” and go forward to follow Jesus (Acts 12.7), after a good night’s sleep in Him.

Long my imprisoned spirit lay
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quick’ning ray,
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free;
I rose, went forth and followed Thee
  (Wesley, 1738/Campbell, 1825)

For reflection

1. What “next steps” of rested, obedient faith are spreading out before you today?

2. How can you have the power of God working in you to help you realize more of the presence, promise, and power of His Kingdom today?

3. Make a point to give thanks to God every time today you sense Him guiding, nudging, alerting, or otherwise working in you. Jot them down, then pray them back to the Lord with thanks and praise before you retire tonight.

When as the angel smiteth Peter's side, it appeareth hereby what a care God hath for his, who watcheth over them when they sleep, and raiseth them when they are drowsy. And surely there were nothing more miserable than we, if the continuance of our prayers alone did keep God in his watching over us; for such is the infirmity of our flesh that we faint and quail, and we stand most of all in need of his help when our minds, being drawn away, do not seek him. John Calvin (1509-1564), Commentary on Acts 12.7

Pray Psalm 91.11-16.
Commit your day to the Lord. Trust Him to guide, empower, and keep you. Thank Him in advance for the help He will provide as you work your Personal Mission Field today.

Sing Psalm 91.11-16.
(Lauda Anima: Praise My Soul the King of Heaven)
He shall give His angels charge to bear us up, lest we should fall.
They will guard and carry all who on the Savior’s mercy call.
Cobra, mighty lion, serpent: We shall tread upon them all!

Save us, Lord! We love You only; set us up secure on high!
You we know, on You we call in trouble: Hear us when we cry!
Show us Your salvation, let long life forever satisfy!

T. M. and Susie Moore

You can listen to a summary of last week’s Scriptorium study by going to our website,, and clicking the Scriptorium tab for last Sunday. You can download any or all the studies in this series on Acts by clicking here.

Read more about the work Jesus is doing as King. Our books, The Kingship of Jesus and What in Heaven Is Jesus Doing on Earth? can help you understand the scope, focus, and power of Jesus’ rule at the Father’s right hand. Each is free, and you can order them by clicking here and here.

If you find Scriptorium helpful in your walk with the Lord, please seek the Lord, asking Him whether you should contribute to the support of this daily ministry with your financial gifts. As the Lord leads, you can use the Contribute button at the website to give with a credit card or through PayPal or Anedot, or you can send your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 360 Zephyr Road, Williston, VT 05495.

Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (Williston: Waxed Tablet Publications, 2006), available by clicking here.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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