Verse of the Day Devotion: Acts 16:25
“But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them;” – Acts 16:25
Paul and Silas are thrown into a Roman jail. The reason was they delivered a slave girl from a demon. “It happened that as we were going to the place of prayer, a slave-girl having a spirit of divination met us, who was bringing her masters much profit by fortune-telling. Following after Paul and us, she kept crying out, saying, these men are bondservants of the Most High God, who are proclaiming to you the way of salvation. She continued doing this for many days. But Paul was greatly annoyed, and turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her!” And it came out at that very moment.” Acts 16:16-18. This young girl had a spirit of divination, and her masters were using her in order to gain a profit from what she said. It was believed among the heathens of that time that people like this young slave girl is speaking the truth by the inspiration of their god. And these masters took advantage of it.
However, when she was delivered from this spirit, they saw that their opportunity for profits through their slave had ended, and this angered them to the point that they grabbed both Paul and Silas and took them to the chief magistrates of that place. They lied about what they had done, to some degree, “and when they had brought them to the chief magistrates, they said, ‘These men are throwing our city into confusion, being Jews, and are proclaiming customs which it is not lawful for us to accept or to observe, being Romans.” Acts 16:20-21. Paul and Silas were proclaiming customs which was not lawful to observe as Romans. Rome considered the Caesars were gods and proclaiming anything or anyone as above Caesar would be considered extreme blaspheme. When they declared this, they were grabbed, and the chief magistrates ordered them to be beaten with rods. After they were finished beating them, they were thrown into the inner prison and their feet were put in stocks. Now, when prisoners were put in stocks, they would spread their legs as far as possible, then they would spread them further, pulling the muscles before putting the stocks on them.
Many would sit in the jail wondering why God would have done this. However, from our focus verse, we see that they were praying and singing hymns of praise to God. They did not stop giving praise and worship to God, even though they had been severely beaten and the muscles in their legs stretched to cause them additional pain. And look what God was able to do through them. “and suddenly there came a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison house were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s chains were unfastened. When the jailer awoke and saw the prison doors opened, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped.” Acts 16:26-27. During that time period, if any prisoner were to escape, the jailer in charge of him would be required to take his place.
So, what happened? “And he (the jailer) called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas, and after he brought them out, he said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” Acts 16:29-30. And they replied, “They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” Acts 16:31. What we see here is that because they continued to honor God, giving Him worship and praise, and praying, a man and his family received salvation.
God can use us in many ways for His service. However, there are times when He will use what we do even though we are unaware that we are making a difference. The jailer and his family were saved because Paul and Silas were glorifying the Lord. What is important to see here is that we always need to be God focused, for we never know when someone will be touched by what they see us doing. Let the world see that no matter how tough things get, we will give God the glory because we know that He uses us even when we do not realize it. “But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. AND DO NOT FEAR THEIR INTIMIDATION, AND DO NOT BE TROUBLED, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;” 1 Peter 3:14-15.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries, Inc.