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Search Unit 13 - God Meets Our Needs

TEXT: Acts 12:1-11; 1 Corinthians 10:13; 2 Peter 2:9


The students will be able to explain that God offers deliverance from the snares of the enemy of our soul.


The Herod of today’s lesson was known as Herod Agrippa I. He was the grandson of Herod the Great who was ruler of Judea when Jesus was born. The Herodian background was Idumean, but they accepted the Jewish religion. Herod the Great had many splendid edifices built in Jerusalem of which the restoration of the Temple was the most magnificent. Herod Agrippa I was a strict observer of the Law and was in favor of the Jews.

Herod Antipas was ruler in Galilee when Jesus was tried before Pilate. When Pilate learned that Jesus had resided in Galilee, he sent Jesus to Herod for examination. Herod was in Jerusalem for the Passover.

Persecution was the lot of the followers of Jesus from Pentecost on. Jesus had foretold that if they persecuted Him, they would persecute His followers. Shortly after Pentecost when Peter and John healed the lame man through the name of Jesus, they were put into prison overnight. They were released the next day and commanded not to speak in the Name of Jesus. However, they continued to preach about Jesus and were again thrown into prison. An angel let them out and told them to go back to the Temple and continue to speak about the Lord. They were soon rearrested and brought before the chief priests and elders. They were beaten and ordered not to speak in the Name of Jesus. Shortly after this, Stephen was stoned to death and the Church was greatly persecuted and scattered abroad—except for the Apostles.

At this time King Herod, to please the Jews, had James beheaded and Peter thrown into prison. Undoubtedly, Herod would have had Peter put to death had not the angel intervened and delivered Peter from the prison. While all do not receive the remarkable deliverance that Peter did, all may face persecution with courage and know that God will deliver them in one way or another.


Pentecost empowered the New Testament church to act on their belief and witness for Christ as they faced beatings, scourgings, separation of families, dislocation of homes, and even death itself. God provided miraculous deliverances, some of which are recorded in the first ten chapters of Acts. For example, in Acts 5, we read that the angel of the Lord provided deliverance from prison for two of the Apostles. Most importantly, however, God delivered, protected and preserved His followers from evil contamination by the sin all around them. As we study this lesson, we become acutely aware that God wants to provide the same deliverance from spiritual perils for us today.

  1. Webster defines deliverance as “the state of being freed; a release or rescue.” However, deliverance to the Christian does not necessarily mean immunity from suffering, persecution, or earthly troubles. Read 1 Corinthians 10:13 and note what you think this word means for Christians.

    Response: Based on 1 Corinthians 10:13, your group should conclude that the Christian has the promise that there will always be a way to escape, that he “may be able to bear it.”
  2. Read Psalm 24:3-5 and summarize the condition of the one who shall “ascend into the hill of the Lord,” or “stand in his holy place.” Does attaining this condition have any bearing on our right to expect deliverance? Explain.

    Response: Ask for volunteers to explain what they feel is meant by these verses. This should provide the springboard for a discussion regarding the qualifications necessary to receive the deliverance promised by God. The students should see that they cannot be assured of God’s deliverance unless they have been obedient to the Lord and His Word in their daily living.
  3. On what condition does God “deliver” one who has been disobedient? See Psalm 51.

    Response: The students should understand that God is merciful, and that He sent His Son to deliver sinners from their sins and the trouble that sin has brought into their lives. But such deliverance must, in most cases, be preceded by repentance. Many times God will spare one who cries to Him in trouble, even though it may not be a prayer of repentance. But that one should not presume on God’s mercy.
  4. God has promised us spiritual deliverance in every aspect of our Christian lives. Next to each Scripture below write what the deliverance is from.
    Psalm 18:48
    Psalm 34:4
    Psalm 54:7
    Matthew 6:13
    2 Peter 2:9

    Response: Psalm 18:48 — enemies
    Psalm 34:4 — fears
    Psalm 54:7 — trouble
    Matthew 6:13 — evil
    2 Peter 2:9 — temptation
    As your students give their answers, discuss specific examples of each. Encourage the students to relate times from their own knowledge or experience when God has brought deliverance from these things.
  5. Referring to our text in Acts, Peter undoubtedly knew that Herod had killed James. When he was seized and imprisoned by the same ruler, one might expect Peter to be afraid for his life and concerned about being imprisoned. If this was so, he demonstrated a great calmness in spite of it, for verse 6 tells us that Peter was asleep. How can you account for this? How might a heartfelt belief in the promise given in Romans 8:28 bring about a parallel attitude in our lives?

    Response: Peter’s confidence and faith in God must have afforded an assurance that all would be well, regardless of the situation in which he found himself. God honored this confidence by sending him a complete deliverance. Discuss with your students how they, too, can have an unshakable confidence in God which will help them through all manner of trying circumstances, based on the promise that “all things work together for good to them that love God . . .”
  6. What important event was continuing uninterrupted while the angel was awakening Peter in the prison and telling him to arise and follow him? What might we learn from this regarding situations where deliverance is needed?

    Response: Acts 12:5 says: “. . . but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.” Your students should see that prevailing prayer is often required before the deliverance comes.
  7. Comment on why you feel God sometimes sends an immediate deliverance in answer to a sudden short prayer, and sometimes delays His deliverance until much prevailing prayer has been offered.

    Response: Allow time for your students to offer their answers. They will no doubt bring out that the circumstances involved may affect the length of time before the Lord sends the answer. He knows that at times they are like Peter when he was about to perish by sinking beneath the waves of the Sea of Galilee, and He gives immediate deliverance. At other times, He proves them to show that their motives are pure, and tries them as to their continued faith in the face of adversity or trouble. Prevailing prayer requires effort, and when deliverance arrives they know the effort was well worthwhile.
  8. In reference to our key verse, the Psalmist is giving praise to God for deliverance. He mentions three ways God has given deliverance. Explain these in your own words, giving specific examples of what might be meant by each in our day.

    Response: Your students’ answers should bring out that deliverance is from eternal death, from sorrow, and from the snares and pitfalls of life. Allow time for your students to share their specific examples of each. Conclude your lesson by stressing the fact that we can find the same deliverance today, emphasizing that while God’s deliverance is for our daily needs, the crowning deliverance comes when we inherit eternal life.


Bring some kind of trap—mousetrap, animal trap, bird trap—to class and discuss the various ways in which the animal or bird can be warned and delivered from falling or walking into the trap. Consider Proverbs 1:17, “Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird.” Discuss Ephesians 5:15, “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise.” Your class should discover that the meaning of the word circumspectly is “looking carefully to consider all related circumstances before acting; cautious; careful.” Discuss what part a Christian has in God daily delivering him from evil. See also Ephesians 6:10-18.

Take a rope or cord of some kind and tie up a volunteer, demonstrating how we are bound by the devil. Have the students name some things that we can be bound by. Write the suggestions on paper and tape them to the student that is bound. Then discuss who can deliver us from each thing, bringing out that we must ask the Lord to deliver us.

Bring a rabbit’s foot, four-leaf clover, horseshoe or other symbol of good luck. Bring out that many people believe in fate or luck, and even feel that symbols of this sort serve as a protection or deliverance from misfortune. In what is our deliverance as Christians? Hold up a large posterboard on which you have written the words of our key verse.

Come into class with a paper-link chain attached to your arms. Ask your students if they feel you will have any problem breaking the chains. Then bring out that to God, giving us deliverance from the things that bind us is as easy as it is for us to break the paper chains.