Acts 12:18 & 19

"In the morning, there was no small commotion among the soldiers as to what had become of Peter. After Herod had a thorough search made for him and did not find him, he cross-examined the guards and ordered that they be executed. Then Herod went from Judea to Caesarea and stayed there a while." NIV translation

It seems that Herod was always at odds with God's plan. At Jesus' birth, he had the little children killed because he couldn't find Jesus and now he has the guards killed because he can't find Peter. You would think that maybe he would stop and realize that something bigger than himself is going on but he doesn't. The same can probably be said of us at times as God is at work and we don't take notice and we may even get frustrated, like Herod, and do bad things. That is why we must be always in prayer and looking for God at work in our lives.

Acts 12:20 - 23

"He had been quarreling with the people of Tyre and Sidon; they now joined together and sought an audience with him. Having secured the support of Blastus, a trusted personal servant of the king, they asked for peace, because they depended on the king's country for their food supply. On the appointed day Herod, wearing his royal robes, sat on his throne and delivered a public address to the people. They shouted, 'This is the voice of a god, not of a man.' Immediately, because Herod did not give praise to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died." NIV translation

Things must have been looking pretty good for Herod as he had killed some of the disciples and then some of his enemies came to him to ask for peace. He gave a big speech and the crowd loved it and even lifted him up as a god. But, God is a jealous god and does not share his position with anyone and so Herod was killed by an angel of the Lord. We all probably know of someone that is openly hostile to Jesus Christ but it seems like they are still prospering in the world. This passage can serve to remind us that God is in control and he will take care of those who elevate themselves to God's throne.

Acts 12:24 & 25

"But the word of God continued to increase and spread. When Barnabas and Saul had finished their mission, they returned from Jerusalem, taking with them John, also called Mark." NIV translation

No matter what rulers tried to do or the people they arrested, God's word spread. That was true then and it is also true today as there are many countries where the leaders try to keep the people from hearing the gospel but God is still in control and working there.