images-1

 

Acts 16. 22-34

Psalms 119.61-62

Paul and Silas are preaching in Phillipi when they were being followed by a girl who was demon possessed, who recognized the Spirit of Jehovah in them, proclaiming,” These men are bond-servants of the Most High God, who are proclaiming to you the way of salvation.” After days of this Paul cast the demon out of the girl, which made her masters angry for they profited from her demon possession. Paul and Silas the are arrested , beaten with rods, and thrown in prison, which included being put in stocks, in the inner prison.  Picture this if you will, they are bruised from the rods, bleeding extensively, placed in a dark filthy inner room of the prison, there is no light, their legs are stretched to the point of dislocation in the stocks, and vs. 25 says  “about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to Elohim.”  I always find it interesting to note the detail in which these stories are told. Singing at this period of time is not at all what we understand singing to be but was more like a chanting of psalms, which brings us to Psalms 119.61-62. ” The cords of the wicked have encircled me, but I have not forgotten your law.  At midnight I shall rise to give thanks to You, Because of your righteous ordinances.”  Paul being a Pharisee quite probably had Psalm 119 memorized, and it seemed fitting to sing it at this time though he couldn’t possibly know what time it was. Everyone in the prison was listening to these two sang and were comforted by it, it seems.  Suddenly an earthquake arose, foundations were shaken, chains fell off, and doors were opened.  The guard came running and supposing all had escaped, he couldn’t see for the darkness, drew his sword to kill himself, probably for the sake of his family, when Paul shouted, “Stop for we are all here.”  The jailer then fell down and said “Sirs what must I do to be saved.”   The answer was “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

The power of the Spirit of God is so amazing, to bring to mind scripture when most appropriate, to find peace in the most unpeaceful places, and to bring about changed lives in the most challenging people.  We have to note that none of the other prisoners attempted escape also.  It seems the word of God had an influence on them too.

It is a benefit to us to memorize scripture, to be mindful of God’s working in our lives, to be a blessing to others, and to expect God to work in peoples lives.  ” The Word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”  Hebrews 4.12.

Karl