Key Word:- PERSEVERE
Title:- Singing Songs at Midnight
Acts 16:37 But Paul said to them, “They have beaten us openly, innocent Romans, and have thrown us into prison. And now do they put us out secretly? No indeed! Let them come themselves and get us out.”
Paul had met the band of women alongside the river at Philippi. Lydia had received the message of salvation with joy and she and her whole household had been baptised. Paul having been invited to her house, encamped himself and the band of brothers with him, right there! Daily he proceeded to prayer at the synagogue and daily was accosted by a demon possessed girl who loudly followed them proclaiming his mission, his proclamation and his purpose. After many days Paul must have judged that this was becoming ‘bad press’. Turning around then and addressing the spirit of divination within her, he cast it out in the name of the Lord Jesus. The slave girl is now free but unable to fulfill her previous and profitable role; her owners therefore have lost a good earner and are not well pleased! In spiteful revenge, they stir up an angry mob in the presence of the local magistrates who hearing only the accusations and not the defense, publicly tear off the clothes of Paul and Silas and have them beaten with rods and thrown into prison.
Naked, badly bruised and beaten, their feet in stocks, Paul and Silas sing songs at midnight. By Earthquakes without and earthquakes within, the watching jailor and his whole family are saved and baptised…all in one night.
Morning comes. The misuse and madness of the magistrates is now passed, the slave owner’s revenge is satisfied and the crowd is dispersed. All is well in Philippi once more, except that the earthquake of the night which had rocked the city and released the prisoners had probably also been seen as an omen of judgment against the magistrates of Philippi. Their conscience aroused, in the morning, as early as possible, the magistrates send word to the jailor to release Paul and Silas.
The new Christian, the saved jailor, is obviously delighted and says “now depart and go in peace.” Paul of course before the new believer, and above all wanting to keep the peace, will set a good example and turn the other cheek and scurry off into the distance from whence he came. Not likely! Nope! Surprise surprise, for with a flash of fire, ‘Paul the Peeved’ thoroughly rooted in the scriptures says “Noah waya Hosea!” let them come and get us! Let them do the hurrying and scurrying, this is outrageous!” Paul was intent on the whole city seeing the mistaken magistrates humbled for their illegal proceedings and also see that they as innocent Christians, had been unjustly condemned.
Friends there are three things of note here.
Firstly, that the battle we are engaged in is fierce. It is a battle that is waged on physical, material, magisterial, economic and spiritual levels. It is a pan-dimensional battle front.
Secondly, that God expects His servants to endure hardship. It would appear that naked and scabby midnight singers that did not ‘do a runner’ when they had the chance were the only people that could purchase an audience with this hardened individual of a jailor!
Lastly and most wonderfully, despite and because of all the ensuing drama, the purple house of Lydia is quickly becoming the peopled house of Lydia. Jesus is building His church through it all. HOW ABOUT THAT THEN! Don't be too frightened about a little controversy.
Listen:- You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 2 Timothy 2:2-3
Pray: - Lord in all our endurance, send us glimpses if gold, baskets of fruit and messages from heaven. Come and tread upon our obedient pathways, come and shake the earth before us O God. In Jesus name, Amen.