Until now, it has been the religious leaders who have been persecuting the church. Now Herod, a political leader, joins the persecution. He executes James, making him the first of Jesus’ original followers to give his life for his faith. Peter is then arrested and will probably be executed as well, but is miraculously delivered. The story is a humorous one with people praying he will be released, but not believing it when he is. It comes full circle when Herod is the one who dies. He believes he is a god, but the real God has the final say on that.
Days may seem dark when the powerful oppose God and his people, but be assured that God is stronger than any earthly power. There may be difficult days while we wait for God to act, but we can pray for deliverance and should not be surprised when he answers.