This week we conclude our study of the book of Acts and I hope you were all able to take something away from it. In my reading I found that a section of the book lingers in my head, that is Acts 16:25-40. Let's take a look...
25 And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard 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 every one's bands were loosed.Let's pause here! I don't know about you guys but I would have taken that as a sign from God to RUUUNNNNN!!!! But they don't...
27 And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled.28 But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here.Huh???
I paused and sat there for a minute shaking my head and began to wonder, "Did Paul suppose the guard would be killed had they escaped?" "Did Paul just want his say in court, he was a Roman that was treated badly according to the law?""Was he afraid someone would snitch?" I couldn't believe they just sat there!
29 Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas,30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.32 And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.33 And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.34 And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house.Talk about conversion!
I realized had Paul and Silas taken their opportunity to escape those people never would have been saved! That guard would have ended his life leaving his family devastated and possibly making Paul and Silas fugitives, accused of murder. I mean who would have believed those gates just flew open and that guard killed himself!
How many times have I done this in my life?
Felt like "now is the time for action" and ended up screwing things up because I didn't wait for God's timing? Yes, it takes a lot of faith and patience but in the end we come out blessed beyond what we can even imagine. As I continued to read it states, Paul wanted his say in court he wanted to address his mistreatment as a fellow Roman to the judge. But look what God did...he took even that (what I would call a slightly selfish) moment and used it to bless a whole family and keep Paul and Silas with their good names.
At the end of this chapter, Paul has his say with the magistrates and he and Silas are released and sent away in peace. Again, not how it would have gone had they taken that chance to run earlier. It's important that the next time we see our chance to run, that we take a minute and pray, ask God for insight to really see the consequences of our actions!
Thanks for reading and as always Be Fruitful!