And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a woman named Rhoda came to answer. Acts 12:13
Have you ever been engrossed in Bible study, or an important discussion, or watching the climax of a mystery movie, and hear a knock on the door? The interruption can be unnerving. Annoying (unless you’re waiting on the pizza guy).
It happened to a gathering of saints in Acts 12 who were deep in prayer beseeching God to protect Peter, their leader. They believed Peter was in chains in Herod’s jail awaiting execution. As they were deep in prayer they heard knocking at the gate of the house.
This was a nervous time for the apostles. Herod was on a mission to kill followers of “The Way” to impress the Jewish community. Mary’s servant girl, Rhoda, went to answer the door. When Rhoda asked who it was, Peter must have told her because the Bible says she recognized him just by hearing his voice. Jesus told his followers in John 10 that His sheep would recognize His voice and follow Him.
But in her excitement, rather than let Peter in, she ran back into the house and announced that Peter stood before the gate. “But they wouldn’t believe her, dismissing her report. ‘You’re crazy,’ ” they said. Peter, they thought, had been captured by Roman soldiers and thrown in jail to face the same fate as James, whom Herod executed with his sword.
But she didn’t waver. She KNEW she heard the voice of Peter. Despite her obstacle of disbelief and the mocking from the followers in Mary’s house, she kept proclaiming, insisting, it was Peter.
It couldn’t be Peter, they told her. He was bound in shackles and being heavily guarded by Roman soldiers. They assumed it was an angel at the door.
When you read this brief story of Rhoda’s trusting, even while being mocked and threatened by her friends you recognize something. Rhoda did not allow these obstacles to define her. She could have trembled and backed down. She could have panicked. Instead she trusted in the voice she knew to be Peter’s. She was a mere servant girl. Her obstacle could have defined her and made her feel insignificant, but she chose to focus on the truth and not her circumstances. She knew his voice.
Do you know His voice? What happens to you when you face your obstacles? What happens if you hear Jesus’ voice telling you to do something you know will draw criticism or ridicule even from those closest to you? Will you listen to the voice of Truth, or will you listen to the clamor of the voices of distraction throwing obstacles in your path?
Isaiah 30:21 tells us, “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Which way will you go? Which voice will you listen to?
PRAYER: Father, the voices of distraction are ever-present in our lives. We get unsolicited advice from friends and relatives, even those closest to us. Keep us digging into your word. Keep us ever praying, ever meditating on your voice. So that when you speak to us, despite the obstacles that seem to be in our way, we will hear Your distinct voice and we walk in the way You give us. Amen.