This is one of several nail-biting episodes in Daniel. Three government officials refused to bow to any statue, declaring that Jehovah was the only God to be worshipped. They were thrown into a fiery furnace. Even many people who have not read the Bible have heard of these faithful ones.
Things had become difficult for the disciples. James had been killed, and Peter had been imprisoned by King Herod. This time Peter was alone but with 16 soldiers to guard him! Herod took no chances, he had heard how the disciples had been freed earlier, so he multiplied the guard!
The book of Acts is one exciting story after another. Sometimes there were difficult experiences, but the Lord ALWAYS had the upper hand. Jesus warned us that in this world we will have trouble but He continued in the same verse to tell us that He has overcome the world.
Believers today are longing for this day described in this verse when Jesus returns to earth. But sadly there are still many in the world who have no idea who Jesus is, and what the plans God has for the end of our world as we know it, will be.
At first reading, this verse could be referring to John the Baptist, preparing the way for Jesus to come. If we read on, we can also translate messenger here as Holy Spirit preparing the way for the return of Jesus. Maybe it is both. The word in Hebrew is Malak.
Chapter 4 of the gospel of Matthew begins with the account of the temptation of Jesus Christ in the wilderness. The most striking verse is the first one which tells us that He was led by Holy Spirit into the wilderness so that He would be tempted by the devil!!
The Burning Bush - I can imagine these flames lit up a huge area, and Moses would wonder why the fire was not spreading to another growth nearby. In fact it was because the flames seemed to be having no effect even on that one bush that Moses went to look!
Jacob was on his way to find a wife from his maternal family. The previous verse tells that he took a stone and laid his head on it!! No modern day hotels for him! He obviously slept in spite of his uncomfortable pillow because he had an amazing dream.
The Bible is not clear about where angels and demons come from. There are obviously thousands of them around today. Angels spend their time blessing us, protecting us, encouraging us. Demons spend their time hassling us, distracting us, trying to stop us fulfilling the plan of God for our lives.
Imagine for a moment the delegation from Moab who had gone to fetch Balaam. They watched the donkey do strange things, then they listened to a conversation between the prophet and the donkey, and finally they saw Balaam fall face down in front of a being they could not see.