Friday, November 27, 2009

Rescuers are enslaved!

The reward for freeing the slave girl was rapid and violent.

Paul and Silas were beaten and put into jail. It was unjust. It was unfair. They had been beaten.

They responded by praying and singing loudly in their dungeon!!

25 -26 "Along about midnight, Paul and Silas were at prayer and singing a robust hymn to God. The other prisoners couldn't believe their ears."

God responded too!

"Then, without warning, a huge earthquake! The jailhouse tottered, every door flew open, all the prisoners were loose.

27 -28Startled from sleep, the jailer saw all the doors swinging loose on their hinges. Assuming that all the prisoners had escaped, he pulled out his sword and was about to do himself in, figuring he was as good as dead anyway, when Paul stopped him: "Don't do that! We're all still here! Nobody's run away!"

This is actually pretty funny. The latest prisoner is now in charge. The prison warden is trying to commit suicide. The inmate is telling him not to...

29 -31 "The jailer got a torch and ran inside. Badly shaken, he collapsed in front of Paul and Silas. He led them out of the jail and asked, "Sirs, what do I have to do to be saved, to really live?"

The warden has seen a lot of prisoners. He wants what these two have.

"They said, "Put your entire trust in the Master Jesus. Then you'll live as you were meant to live—and everyone in your house included!"
32 -34They went on to spell out in detail the story of the Master—the entire family got in on this part. They never did get to bed that night. The jailer made them feel at home, dressed their wounds, and then—he couldn't wait till morning!—was baptized, he and everyone in his family. There in his home, he had food set out for a festive meal. It was a night to remember: He and his entire family had put their trust in God; everyone in the house was in on the celebration."

Now THAT is an amazing story! The jailer feeds and ministers to the prisoners. The prisoners keep the family up all night, telling them about the Scriptures, and Jesus. They all convert to Christianity and are baptized.

The funny part continues.

35 -36 "At daybreak, the court judges sent officers with the instructions, "Release these men." The jailer gave Paul the message, "The judges sent word that you're free to go on your way. Congratulations! Go in peace!"

Everything is fine. Jailer keeps his job, and his life. Prisoners are set free. They can go on their way. And what stories they can tell.
Oh Oh! Paul is feisty! He is not about to slink quietly away!!

37 "But Paul wouldn't budge. He told the officers, "They beat us up in public and threw us in jail, Roman citizens in good standing! And now they want to get us out of the way on the sly without anyone knowing? Nothing doing! If they want us out of here, let them come themselves and lead us out in broad daylight."
Did he just mention the "C" word?
The itinerant evangelist with the strage ideas is a ROMAN CITIZEN?

Why did no one check this out before he was beaten and jailed? This could end up being bad. Really bad...

38 -40 "When the officers reported this, the judges panicked. They had no idea that Paul and Silas were Roman citizens. They hurried over and apologized, personally escorted them from the jail, and then asked them if they wouldn't please leave the city."

Now THAT would make a great movie!
"Walking out of the jail, Paul and Silas went straight to Lydia's house, saw their friends again, encouraged them in the faith, and only then went on their way. "

If your Christian life is boring, maybe you aren't hanging out with the likes of Paul...

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