We pick up the story concerning Paul and Silas as an earthquake has shattered the prison foundation and left all the prison doors open as Paul and Silas prayed and sung praises in their midnight hour. Now we read; Acts 16:27 The jailer woke up to see the prison doors wide open. He assumed the prisoners had escaped, so he drew his sword to kill himself. 28 But Paul shouted to him, "Stop! Don't kill yourself! We are all here!"
Every jailor was made responsible for his prisoner, under the same penalty to which the prisoner himself was exposed. The jailor, awaking, and finding the prison-doors open, taking it for granted that all the prisoners had made their escape, and that he must lose his life on the account, chose rather to die by his own hand than by that of others. For it was customary among the pagans, when they found death inevitable, to take away their own lives. This custom was applauded by their philosophers, and sanctioned by some of their greatest men. (from Adam Clarke's Commentary)
First of all notice the jailer was asleep because the earthquake woke him up. It never pays to sleep on the job. Suddenly awakened and seeing all the prison doors open, his quick evaluation of the scene led him to kill himself but Paul screamed, “Don’t kill yourself, we are ALL HERE”!
I need to ask a very important question right here: could it have been Paul and Silas went through what they had to endure because a jailer and his family needed salvation? It wasn’t just about the demonic fortune telling young lady being delivered, but it was also about a prison full of prisoners and a jailer receiving the wonderful news of the power of the Gospel. Paul and Silas suffered a lot because of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and so will we when we truly fulfill what Father God has destined us to do.
What is the price of a soul? Is it worth us shining for Jesus and what we believe in the Midnight Hour? We show the glory of Father God brighter in our midnight hours than any other time in our lives! Are we really willing to do what it takes to bring the glory of God in dark places? No, it wasn’t fair what Paul and Silas went through, being falsely accused, beaten, and thrown into an inner prison but it had a purpose. We need to remember that as children of Father God, nothing is wasted in our lives, not even one hardship. Father God is never surprised about where we are and what is going on, but rather He has already gone into our future, causing everything to work together for our good if we don’t give up too soon.
I’m so thankful for the mercy, grace and love of Father God who is not willing for any to perish but desires everyone to come to repentance. Just like he did not forget the woman at the well but went out of His way to lead her to repentance and restoration, He did not forget the prison guard and his family.
29 The jailer called for lights and ran to the dungeon and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 Then he brought them out and asked, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?"
As a result of the sufferings of Paul and Silas, we see a man, without hope about to commit suicide, get a life change. His first objective after hearing hope from Paul’s voice was to shine light in the darkness. Those who are lost, unsaved and don’t know Jesus have a darkness problem and they need a voice (your voice, my voice) in their darkness. You never know how powerful your voice is until you yield it to the Lord. As you go (Mark 16) then you will grow.
Then all of a sudden the once hopeless man asked the most important question of all time, “Tell me how I can be saved”. I want to emphasize the importance of being a light and being a voice in the lives of those around us even when we are walking in a midnight hour of our lives.
Our actions and reactions in our midnight hour are more effective than any words we would ever say when we are on a mountain top experience with Father God. People know that God is good when everything is fine, but when they find out God is still good during our midnight season by our words and actions; it brings glory to Father God. Our light should shine the brightest in the midnight, not easy but as we mature in the Word we know ALL THINGS DO WORK OUT FOR OUR GOOD!
Prayer Points: Father God help me not be so self centered during the midnight times of my life that others can’t see your light shining through me and want to serve you. Help me to Reach One More!
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