I just want to introduce you all to one of my favorite females in scripture: Rhoda. (Found in CJB Acts 12)
“v.11 Then Kefa came to himself and said, “Now I know for sure that the Lord sent his angel to rescue me from Herod’s power and from everything the Judean people were hoping for.” 12 Realizing what had happened, he went to the house of Miryam the mother of Yochanan (surnamed Mark), where many people had gathered to pray. 13 He knocked at the outside door, and a servant named Rhoda came to answer. 14 She recognized Kefa’s voice and was so happy that she ran back in without opening the door, and announced that Kefa was standing outside. 15 “You’re out of your mind!” they said to her. But she insisted it was true. So they said, “It is his angel.” 16 Meanwhile, Kefa kept knocking; and when they opened the door and saw him, they were amazed. 17 Motioning to them with his hand to be quiet, he told them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison and said, “Tell all this to Ya’akov and the brothers.” Then he left and went elsewhere.”
Rhoda is a listening girl of God, a happy, joyous girl of God, and a insistent girl of God. Three qualities that work together admirably, and yet qualities we tend to segregate. She knew Peter’s (Kefa’s in the Hebrew) voice. Given that when the praying folks did open the door and Peter motioned them to be quiet, we can reasonable estimate Peter, realizing he had actually been gotten out of prison, probably would not have been shouting to draw attention. So, Rhoda really had to recognize his voice, having spent time in his presence when he was preaching loudly to still recognize it when he used it in a quieter called for situation. Her response is beautiful. She didnt open the door for him, but was so ELATED that she crashed the prayer meeting! She faced being called crazy by people superior in age and spirituality, she faced being told by those who were praying for Peter that she had heard Peter’s angel. These pray-ers must have thought she heard in the spiritual realm, but Rhoda announced that Peter was standing outside! (Not just that she had heard Peter.) It is a beautiful contrast of listening vs not listening. Their hearts were focused so much on praying, which itself is a good thing, that they deemed opening the door to Peter’s Angel less important than opening the door for Peter. I mean, Peter’s angel coulda given them heavenly knowhow to how Peter was faring, don’t you think? Kefa had to keep knocking for one of them to open the door. All this happened at night.
Had they ignored his knocking, they probably would’ve witnessed his trial ending in death, with the knowledge he had come to them, and that would be an awful thing to carry round the remainder of your life. Had Rhoda opened the door, her blessings would have differed. Had she opened the door for Peter and Peter walked into the prayer meeting, given their heart condition I can only imagine what a stir that might’ve caused. The fact that someone opened the door for him, muchless her nature might’ve been lost to history. As it was God used Rhoda as a vessel to tell others who were praying, that their prayers had been answered, probably along with her own. We don’t know what happened to her after she insisted Peter was standing outside but since she was a girl, not woman. I would guess she was detained or prevented from opening the door, since her news was not taken positively. Rhoda, in Hebrew means “Rose.” We ought not ignore the listening, joyous, insistent roses the Lord uses to woo us in our spiritual lives.