Daily Devotional Sunday 10th May 2020by William Moody
The Philippian Jailer Converted
25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, 26 and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s bonds were unfastened. 27 When the jailer woke and saw that the prison doors were open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul cried with a loud voice, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.” 29 And the jailer1 called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas. 30 Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
Paul and Silas were stripped beaten and severely flogged before put in stocks in an inner cell in a foreign city. There was little to be happy about, but we read of them singing praise to God at midnight (v25). They had a joy in the Lord, in the knowledge of His control, love and presence that nothing could take away (Phil. 4 v4).
When we go through difficult trial we need to focus on the truth about God that never changes to find hope and joy.
With the earthquake taking place, the prisoners’ chains coming loose and the doors being opened (v26-27); the jailer thought all had escaped. Losing prisoners would have meant his execution, but probably through the influence of Paul and Silas they were all still there (v28).
The jailer was probably a tough ex-Roman soldier, he is now broken (v29-30). It sometimes takes an earthquake in people’s lives before they will face up to the biggest questions of all. Pray for those complacent in their sinful lives.
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