Friday, 16 June 2023
About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was a violent earthquake, which shook the prison to its foundations. At once all the doors opened, and the chains fell off all the prisoners. -Acts 16:25-26[GNT]
One of the most challenging moments in the call of God is to listen, hear and act upon the Lord’s instructions on special assignments. The amazing part of it is that God never sends His children on a journey or assignment without going ahead of them to accomplish His purpose and is always prepared and ready to respond to the call of His children in every challenging situation. The call of God without challenges, is like dark clouds without rains. God’s promise to be with us always, is sure and uncompromising!
In our reading we first see Paul and Silas’ confrontation with the young servant woman possessed with a spirit of divination (V.16). This encounter gives us a picture of the Lord’s accompaniment of His servants to confirm and establish His infallible authority and the supremacy of His divine power. God prepared this situation because he wanted to save a Jailer and his family. The presence of Paul and Silas in prison encourages us to smile at the storm, in order to give God the glory He deserves when facing challenges. Paul and Silas sang hymns as they worshipped the Lord in the most difficult challenging situation of being beaten and sent to jail for committing no crime (V.25).
In all of these, God was with them and His divine response and power accompanied them as they witnessed Christ and stood for Him. Because the presence of God was with Paul and Silas the scale of darkness and sin fell off the Jailer’s eyes. He called for a light to see Paul and Silas more clearly. He saw Paul and Silas in a different way and was left with no option than to ask: "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" The responses of Paul and Silas came out as thus: "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your family." See what happens when the supernatural steps into the arena of the natural— all odds of human reasoning make way for God’s mighty work! Not only did God save Paul and Silas from prison, He also paved the way for the salvation of the Jailer and his family.
After their challenges, those who wrongfully beat and threw them into prison, apologized to them and released them. Yes, God’s divine response put some sense into the minds of the authorities; but it also brings to our notice how He feels when His children are oppressed. A few references help us understand how much God is ready to respond to the concerns of His children who diligently seek him: In Exodus 3:7-9, we see God’s response to the children of Israel who cried out to Him in their oppression; He heard their cry and responded to deliver them. From Deuteronomy 7:7-8, we understand His great love for His people that redeemed them from bondage.
In spite of all that Paul and Silas went through, their faith was strengthened even to the point of comforting the brethren with the authority of the Word of God! What a testimony! If you are going through a challenging situation today, call on the LORD sincerely and wait for Him to act! God’s timely response will deliver you and will ultimately bring glory to His name!
A Promise: “He is near to those who call to Him, who call to Him with sincerity.” ~Psalm 145:18[GNT]
Listen: 'Mighty to Save'