Paul and Silas were stripped, beaten with rods, and thrown into prison because Paul cast out the spirit of divination from a female slave. Her owners were highly upset with Paul. Why? Because she was making money for them by fortune-telling, so they were furious when Paul interrupted their cash flow (Acts 16:16-19).
The owners dragged Paul and Silas to the authorities. They complained, ““These men are Jews, and are throwing our city into an uproar by advocating customs unlawful for us Romans to accept or practice” (verse 20-21).
You see that? They were mad because Paul brought righteousness. They went as far as to call Paul’s action “unlawful.” When God uses you to speak truth to this world, some people will call your message of Christ “unlawful.”
Then they will persecute you. Those people removed Paul and Silas’ clothes, severely flogged them, and threw them in the inner cell, fastening their feet in the stocks.
You would think Paul and Silas would have been crying over their physical pain and their current imprisonment. No, that was not the case.
“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose” (verses 25-26).
Did you see that? (They didn’t go on Facebook posting pictures and comments about their sufferings) These men prayed and sang spiritual hymns to God. Then an earthquake occurred that freed their chains. This tells us we should pray and praise if we want our chains to fall to the ground.
Because of that incident in their cell, the jailer asked how he could receive salvation (verse 30).
Paul and Silas replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house (verse 31-32).
The jailer also washed their wounds and fed them. “The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole household” (verse 34).
Lessons we can learn
- Attacks will come as we serve God and speak truth.
- Prayer and praise will bring us joy.
- Prayer and praise will remove our chains.
- Prayer and praise will help others.
- Prayer and praise will release favor in our lives.
- Prayer and praise will witness to others about Jesus