BibleAsk Team

What was the unusual experience of Paul and Silas in prison?

During the second missionary trip, Paul and Silas came to Philippi a city in Macedonia (Acts 16:12). There, they preached on the Sabbath day by the riverside and taught the women who gathered.  As a result, a certain woman named Lydia accepted the truth and was baptized with her family (v. 13-15).

The false accusation against the apostles

Clearly, this infuriated the devil and he set to attack the two apostles. So, he caused a slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination to follow Paul and his group for many days. And she cried out saying, these men are the servants of the Most High God. So, Paul cast the demon out of that girl. But when her masters saw that their hope of revenue was gone, they captured Paul and Silas. And they took them to the authorities and accused them falsely. They said, these men, being Jews, greatly troubled our city and teach customs which are not lawful for us, being Romans, to observe (v. 16-21).

Praising God in the prison

Consequently, the magistrates without investigating the matter fairly, commanded that Paul and Silas to be beaten with rods and thrown in prison. And they demanded the jailer to keep them securely and fasten their feet in the stocks (v. 22-24).

At midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God even after being flogged. And they continued to praise the Lord for granting them the honor to preach His Word and also to suffer for Him. In turn, God comforted them and strengthened them in a way not known to those who do not serve Him.

God’s deliverance

Suddenly, God sent 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 (v. 26). God sent His divine intervention (Matt. 28:2; Rev. 16:18; Acts 4:31), and angels came to rescue His faithful servants.

Then, the keeper of the prison, awaking from sleep and seeing that the prison doors were open, and he supposed that the prisoners had fled. So, he 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” (v. 27,28).

The conversion of the keeper of prison

At this point, the jailer realized that he is standing before people who had the Spirit of God. So, he fell down trembling before Paul and Silas and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved? (v. 30). Under the conviction of the Holy Spirit, he had a great sense of spiritual need and longed to be righteous.

So, Paul and Silas said to him, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved (v. 31). And they preached the word of the Lord to him. And he took them that same hour of the night and washed their stripes. Then, he and all his family were baptized (v. 33). And he set food before them; and he rejoiced, having believed in God with all his household (v. 34).

As soon as conviction came to the jailer, he gave evidence of his changed heart by washing the apostle’s lacerating backs and providing for their physical needs. This compassionate ministry was the proof of his genuine conversion (Galatians 5:22, 23).

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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