Divine Deliverance (Acts 5:17-26)

But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said, Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life.” (Acts 5:19–20, AV)

Once, I heard a preacher state that we are indestructible until God has completed in us that which He has planned for us to accomplish in life. As I tried to think back on some experiences in my life, one incident came to mind. Though I am certain that there are many more. It was when I was in the Army in Germany.

It was late one dark night while our tank company was practicing gunnery. At around midnight or so, the range officer asked me to go downrange and repair one of the soft targets. The one that needed repair was next to a hard target, at which they would fire a high-explosive round. I got my driver and we headed down range in my jeep on a trail that went behind the two targets. Fortunately, I had my radio on and knew the targeting sequence.

While I was up at the soft target, I heard a call come over the radio. “Alpha 12, this is Alpha 16, fire mission. Hard target. . . .“ When I heard this, I knew they were about to fire a high-explosive round just a few yards from where I was standing. I ran back to the jeep, which was right behind the hard-target, and tried to order a cease fire. Unfortunately, I could not break through the transmission. So, I jumped in the jeep and ordered the driver to move out immediately. It was too late. I heard the tank fire the round at the target. Then I heard the explosion of the round when it hit and the sound of shrapnel flying over our heads.

There were a lot of things that could have gone seriously wrong in this episode. If the tank shot high, it is possible that the round could have hit us. If I did not hear the transmission from the platoon leader, I would have been perhaps 12-15 feet from the round on impact. We could have been hit by the shrapnel. I clearly believe that God watched over me because he had a great work for me to yet accomplish.

In this passage of Acts, we see a situation of divine intervention in the lives of His chosen servants. The Jewish religious leaders arrested the apostles and put them in jail for preaching the gospel. That night an angel of the Lord miraculously opened the prison doors for them with orders to preach in the temple to preach the gospel message. They were delivered because God had more work for them to do.

Everyday that we have is ordained by God for a purpose. Believers should consider themselves indestructible because of the divine protection of God. This does not mean that we should put the Lord our God to the test. Yet, it does mean that as long as we believers have breath in our bodies, God is sustaining us for His glorious purposes. We are on mission for Him. Thus, we must seek to understand what our part is and do it. We must make the most of every opportunity while it is day for the night comes when no man works (John 9:4).

Published by Steve Hankins, Th.D.

Steve has had extensive military, business and ministry experience. He has served for over 16 years in full time vocational ministry and many years of part time ministry in churches. He has led churches through start-up and recasting of vision. Now He resides on the Outer Banks of North Carolina where he is working to help smaller churches and believers to renew their hearts and regain the joy of the Lord.

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