Saturday, September 26, 2015
"The Great Quake"
As I was reading Psalm 146 today, the Lord brought this account in Acts to mind. It is such a perfect example of someone putting into actions all that the words this psalm proclaims. We see them praising Him, trusting Him, serving Him and making Him the One to whom salvation belongs. Check out psalm 146 and see if you don't see the words echoing in the words and actions of Paul and Silas as they: Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord, O my soul!
While I live I will praise the Lord;
I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.
Do not put your trust in prince's,
Nor in a son of man,
In whom there is no help.
His spirit departs, he returns to his e a Roth;
In that very day his plans perish.
Happy is He who has the God of Jacob for his help,
Whose hope is in the Lord his God,
Who made heaven and earth,
The sea, and all that is in them;
Who keeps truth forever,
Who executes justice for the oppressed,
Who gives food to the hungry.
The Lord gives freedom to the prisoners.
The Lord opens the eyes of the blind;
The Lord raises those who are bowed down;
The Lord loves the righteous.
The Lord watches over the strangers;
He relieves the fatherless and widow;
But the way of the wicked He turns upside down.
The Lord shall reign forever ---
Your God, O Zion, to all generations.
Praise the Lord!
So we know that they praised Him in the prison and the Lord sent the earthquake. We also know that they didn't leave. Why? Because they where looking to Him and they knew. They knew that the jailer and His family's salvation was at stake! Did the earthquake come to free them or was it the means sent to open the eyes the jailer and bring freedom to His whole family? The Lord knew they were being released in the morning. So who was the earthquake for? Paul said, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household." He knew. He knew that it wasn't just the jailer who was about to get saved but his whole family. He knew because his hope was in the Lord his God and he knew that God had a plan. He knew because his trust was is in His God who He praised with all his being. He knew because in this case the 'quake' came not to set Paul and Silas free but instead to 'rock' the jailer's whole world.
And when they had laid many stripes on them, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to keep them securely.
Having received such a charge, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.
But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.
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 chains were loosed.
And the keeper of the prison, awaking from sleep and seeing the prison doors open, supposing the prisoners had fled, drew his sword and was about to kill himself.
But Paul called with a loud voice, saying, "Do yourself no harm, for we are all here."
Then he called for a light, ran in, and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas.
And he brought g by them out and said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?"
So they said, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household."
Then they spoke the word of the Lord to Him and to all who were in his house.
And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized.
Now when he had brought them into his house, he set food before them; and he rejoiced, having believed in God with all his household.
And when it was day, the magistrates sent the officers, saying, "Let those men go."
So the keeper of the prison reported these words to Paul, saying, "The magistrates have sent to let you go. Now therefore depart, and go in peace."
But Paul said to them, "They have beaten us openly, uncondemned Romans, and have thrown us in prison. And now do they put us out secretly? No indeed! Let them come themselves and get us out."
And the officers told these words to the magistrates, and they were afraid when they heard that they were Romans.
Then they came and pleaded with them and brought them out, and asked them to depart from the city. Acts 16:23-39