Lessons from Jail!
Scripture reading for June 25th: Acts 16:16-40
As Paul and Silas were going to prayer in Philipi, they were followed by a slave girl with a spirit of divination. She was owned by some people who used her in fortune-telling. This girl kept after the missionaries day by day shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.” (Acts 16:17-18) Finally, Paul became fed up with her taunting and in the Name of Jesus Christ commanded the spirit to come out of her.
It is interesting to note that the demons in this girl recognized who Paul and Silas were and what they were doing. Their taunt, however, was derogatory. Paul and Silas waited on the Holy Spirit and finally acted to silence this evil spirit. This threw her owners into an uproar because they lost their source of income! The idols of money and power go down screaming! Paul and Silas were arrested, severely beaten and imprisoned before they could evade the worked up crowd! They were placed in jail in stocks and under guard as vicious criminals.
Paul and Silas were not in despair, even if they were hurting and uncomfortable! “About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly their was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody’s chains came loose. The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here.”” (Acts 16:25-28) Where God guides, He provides! God responded to their faith and sent a most unusual earthquake. His purposes were being worked out through the suffering of His servants and their trust in Him.
The jailer was so touched by Paul’s care for him that he asked how he might be saved! Paul and Silas told him to believe on the Lord Jesus and he and his household were saved and baptized that night! What was meant for evil, turned out for great good! If you are suffering today because of your faith, why not take time to pray and worship? God may send you a special earthquake!