After Peter had been released from the prison, he resolved to go to where he knew his fellow Christians were. He would have been very encouraged by what he discovered there.
One thing that he would have seen was that that the believers had gathered together without their leaders. It is likely that the apostles had sought a place of safety for as long as Herod was on the rampage. Yet the absence of leaders did not result in the church not knowing what to do. It is a sad church that is so dominated by its leaders that it cannot arrange for spiritual activities without them. This church in Jerusalem was alert enough in a spiritual sense to engage in the basics of Christian discipleship whether or not their leaders were present.
Answered prayer will result in joy. We can see that in the response of Rhoda. Luke tells us that the reason she forgot to open the door to Peter was her joy at hearing his voice. I wonder did Rhoda tell this to Luke when he was making his researches into what had taken place. However Luke knew about it, joy should be the response to answered prayer. There are many aspects of church life that should bring joy – listening to God’s Word, singing his praise, meeting his people, witnessing to the Saviour. But if we don’t have the joy that comes from answered prayer, we are missing a vital component of joy.
Once they realised that Peter was there, he had the opportunity of outlining what had happened. He gave all the credit to Jesus (the Lord in verse 17), another reminder that the Book of Acts is about the activities of King Jesus. How their faith in Jesus would be strengthened as they listened to what had happened! But if they had not been together, they would have missed out and only received the details second hand.
There is one more detail to note here in connection to answered prayer. When the Lord delivers us more than we asked or thought in prayer, it is completely inappropriate to assume that somehow we are now above danger. Peter did not conclude from his rescue that it would be appropriate to go and put himself in danger again. Instead he went to a safe location. We are not to spoil answered prayer by doing something silly.
The outcome of this spiritual battle was that Herod for the moment retreated from the field. No doubt, he was very embarrassed at losing his prisoner. As expected, he killed the guards, even although they had done nothing wrong with regard to Peter. Herod did not realise that he was fighting God, and a short while later his folly was exposed publicly. The lesson of this incident is, Don’t fight against God, instead join those who pray to him because they believe in Jesus.