About midnight, while Paul and Silas were praying
and singing hymns to God as the prisoners listened,
there was suddenly such a severe earthquake
that the foundations of the jail shook;
all the doors flew open, and the chains of all were pulled loose.
When the jailer woke up and saw the prison doors wide open,
he drew his sword and was about to kill himself,
thinking that the prisoners had escaped.
But Paul shouted out in a loud voice,
“Do no harm to yourself; we are all here.”
He asked for a light and rushed in and,
trembling with fear, he fell down before Paul and Silas.
Then he brought them out and said,
“Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus
and you and your household will be saved.”
So they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to everyone in his house.
He took them in at that hour of the night and bathed their wounds;
then he and all his family were baptized at once.
He brought them up into his house and provided a meal
and with his household rejoiced at having come to faith in God. (Acts 16:25-34)
The New Testament is filled with heroic stories, that is for sure.
One of the stories that always got my attention was the story of Paul and Silas in prison.
The prisons back then were very primitive. As a matter of fact, I saw the place where Paul was probably held in this scripture account. It was not pretty at all.
If I had an opportunity to escape, I think I would probably go for the opportunity.
Paul and Silas, on the other hand, sat tight, even when their prison cell was thrown wide open.
This overwhelmed the jailer.
He thought that he was going to be blamed for the escape of the prisoners — since he, too, would take the opportunity to escape if the shoes were on the other foot — when he discovered that the prisoners were still in their cell.
He thought that his life was going to be taken.
Paul and Silas spared his life by sitting tight.
He, in return, wanted the confidence that Paul and Silas had. He was baptized in the faith, he and his entire family.
Because of their selfless act, Paul and Silas brought many to the faith.
They were also set free by the jailer.
Who can you set free today?
FAITH ACTION: There are people who are trapped in fear and who think that their lives are over. Pray for them today that they receive the grace that they need.