“And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon Peter, and a light shone in the prison; and the angel smote Peter on the side and raised him up, saying, ‘Rise quickly’; then Peter’s chains fell off his hands” (Acts 12:7).
It is a mystery how God dramatically intervenes in certain circumstances in the lives of the saints and does nothing at other times to prevent the death of His servants. Just days before the miraculous deliverance of the Apostle Peter, the Apostle James, brother of John, had been slain by the sword at the command of Herod, the King.
Divine intervention is a sovereign act of God and an area of faith that one must simply trust, honor, and praise the majesty of our God and King. The Scriptures are filled with stories of deliverance and sacrifice; from Job, the Psalms, the Acts of the Apostles and Genesis, we see the work of Angels delivering some from certain death and destruction, and the heartfelt sacrifice of others.
The writer to the Hebrews addresses this area of faith and delineates the contrast in poetic language that stirs the soul:
“Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions; quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again. Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance that they might obtain a better resurrection; others had trial of cruel mocking, and scourging. Yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword; they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented–of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts, and in mountains, in dens and caves of the earth. These all obtained a good report through faith, but received not the promises” (Hebrews 11:33-39).
The Apostle Peter was both the subject and object of divine intervention. Earlier an angel had appeared to the Centurion, Cornelius and told him, “Send men to Joppa, and call for Simon, whose surname is Peter; he lodges with one Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the seaside; this Peter will tell you what you are to do” (Acts 10:5-6). Through the direct divine intervention of God, the Gospel was about to be taken to the Gentiles.
The calling of the Apostle Paul was a direct result of the divine intervention of Christ, as Paul journeyed to Damascus from Jerusalem. In Damascus was a disciple named Ananias. He had a divine intervention, seeing the Lord in a vision, Who told him to “go to the street called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus, for behold he is praying. He has seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in and putting his hand on him that he might receive his sight” (Acts 10:11-12).
Divine intervention is a reality in our day, as well. It is a mystery of faith, prayer, fasting, meditations, worship, and humble service. But, indeed, a reality it is for those who believe. In dreams, visions, angelic visitations, voices both audible and in the still small whisper; in signs and wonders, both natural and spiritual, God is miraculously and divinely intervening in our lives. You probably have your own story to share. But if, by chance, there is no intervention; no deliverance and you are left to wonder; take courage, there is a promise yet to be fulfilled, there is a resurrection unto life, and there is eternity waiting just beyond the veil.