Midnight Song

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 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 that 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.  Acts 16:25-34

Do you have to believe in God? Here in our text is a great reminder of how God, or maybe I should say, “Only God can take our circumstances and use them for His glory.” By demonstrating that even in extreme conditions of suffering, the Lord can bring along people in your life that can change your whole perspective. Let’s have a closer look. We can imagine that to hear a fellow prisoner be singing such joyful praise and worship songs at the quiet hour of midnight, might not be received too well by their fellow inmates. The prisons at that time were dark and damp dungeon type of cells, and to add to their confinement by putting them in stocks, the painful fastening of their feet in leg irons as well, you could imagine they weren’t too happy with Paul and Silas. They might be wondering what kind of crazy men would be singing in this place. God is nowhere? Yet, what witnesses they were to these prisoners. Paul and Silas had been beaten and had many stripes laid upon them. And just thrown into this filthy dungeon, along with the rest of the prisoners. And why were they there? We didn’t cover it, but Paul had met a certain slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination, who brought much profit to her masters by fortune-telling. This girl followed Paul and Silas, saying, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation.” And she did this for many days. But Paul finally had enough, and rebuked the spirit in her: “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.”  And the spirit came out of her that same hour. And when the masters seen what had happened and their source of profit had gone, they seized Paul and Silas, and dragged them to the authorities. So you see, the Lord’s servants don’t need Satan to be their advertisers; God was orchestrating for Paul and Silas to be in this place of a prison dungeon, for divine purposes, and since they knew the Lord was leading them, they were filled with joy. And brought the presence of Christ into their prison cell. And so, the jail’s prisoners went from “God is nowhere,” to saying “God is now here.”

While they were singing together praises unto God and praying, suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken, immediately all the doors of the prison cells were opened, and everyone’s bands were loosed. The keeper of the prison awakened and frightened no doubt, arose to find all of the cell doors opened, he drew out his sword, and was going to kill himself (vv.16:27-30). And because if the prisoners had escaped, he was responsible for them and would have been put to death. Paul knowing what he was about to do, whether because he saw him even though it was dark, more rather the Holy Spirit gave him bold witnessing power to stop this man from ending his life. Talk about your close call. God sovereignly reigns and rules in the foreknowledge of people’s lives. God allowed Paul and Silas to be there right at the moment of this earthquake so that they might reach this man with the gospel. Think about it. He is in heaven today, because God wanted to save him and his household from perishing in their sins. What an awesome display of amazing grace.

Now for the Christian who reads this, he or she might more firmly realize how willing the Lord is to use us, but always remember that there is a cost to it. Where Paul and Silas may be asked if it was worth it? They might answer, well, it spite of all the beatings and imprisonments, God is fair and just in His dealing with me, look at the fruit of my labor. This jailer, and all of his household was saved! You be it was worth it. So it will be for any of us who suffer today for their faith in Jesus Christ, as this world becomes more and more hostile to the followers of Christianity. We must be willing though, to count the cost.

“What must I do to be saved?”—Did Paul answer, “join the church; or pay your tithes.” No, all that was said by Paul to the jailer was: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved,” That’s all? You mean that’s all that is necessary? What about my being good first by keeping the 10 Commandments? or not ever being good enough? God has made it so simple. Paul in another epistle, the letter to the Ephesians said: For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8). So you see, man can not ever save themselves by ever being good enough, yet, God says, “It only requires believing in His Son, Jesus Christ.” That is the faith that is required for all who are believers now, or who have ever lived. And there is more good news. Paul said, “you, and your household.” God wants our families to be witnesses of His saving grace as well. Paul wrote in Romans 8, There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit (v.1). The staggering evidence brought out by Paul in chapter 7, that justification is by faith and faith alone on the basis of God’s overwhelming us with His saving grace. Truly a miracle that God has intervened upon the heart of mankind, and enables us to view from His perspective the great love that He has for us. By sending to us His Son, Jesus Christ to die for us on the cross, in place of our sin debt we could never repay. Truly amazing grace indeed,

Beloved friends, God has enabled us to persevere through difficult days so that we would rely more upon Him and His grace and merciful love that He has for us. All the while, He sovereignly has put us in places, where we witness to only He knows the numbers of people who are watching our lives, and seeing our reaction, may in turn may be willing to give their lives to Christ. Are you willing to join me in singing songs of praise to God at midnight? That might have significant meaning to numbers of believers but from a different perspective. Meaning your suffering accounts will differ from mine. Yet, through the rich mercy of God’s grace, we are able to take part in the redemptive plan of salvation, starting in your households, workplaces, classrooms, wherever He may be sovereignly leading you. Don’t forget hospitals and prison cells. His grace abounds in all directions utilizing His church to reach out to more and more people who are searching for truth in these last days. Stay the course, trust in the Lord who knows exactly where you are, and where your next midnight song will be sung.

May the Lord bless your walk with Him!







Author: rontrujillo

Married 37 years We have six children. All of whom are adult. Three are married one of them blessed us with three beautiful grandchildren. Retired Firefighter @ Boeing Aircraft 37 years (Formally McDonnell Douglas) Born Again Summer of 1981

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