Summary: The problem with their story was nothing they said of Paul and Silas was the truth.
Pastor Allan Kircher
Shell Point Baptist Church
THE PRISON OF PRAISE
Intro: Having lost in a fire virtually everything they owned, the Spafford family made new plans, including a move from Chicago to France. Horatio Spafford planned the trip for his wife and four daughters to be as trouble-free as possible. To transport them from America to France, he booked passage on a huge ship, and made sure they had Christians with whom to fellowship in route. He planned to join them a few weeks later.
In spite of much careful preparation, Mr. Spafford's plans suddenly dissolved when the ship carrying his loved ones was rammed by another vessel and sank, carrying his four beloved daughters to the bottom. His wife arrived in Wales safely nine days later and telegraphed her husband the awful news that all four of their children had drowned. Spafford left Chicago to go and bring his wife home. As they cross the Atlantic, the captain came and told him when they were passing over the spot where his daughters had died.
At that place, Horatio Spafford took a pen and paper and wrote these words while passing over the spot where his daughters perished:
When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
It took great faith for Horatio Spafford to write those words. God took the worse prison experience of his life and turned it into a prison of praise and hope.
Paul and Silas found themselves in a difficult prison of oppression and suffering. In that prison they experienced the great grace of God. They received everything they needed transform a prison of pain into a prison of praise. I would like to examine their experience for a little while today. It may be that someone here is locked away in a prison of pain. I want you to see that God can take your pain and turn it into praise for His glory. Let’s notice some of the facts pointed out in this passage as we think on the subject: The Prison Of His Praises.
I. v. 16-24 IT IS A PLACE OF MISERY
• When Paul/company/arrived/Philippi/they expected great things!
• Lord clearly sent them to that city v. 6-12
• Lord’s will/further revealed/Lydia/others came to faith in Lord 13-15
• As soon as the Lord starts blessing/devil begins his work.
• These men were/in/Lord’s will/still trouble comes into their lives.
• They find themselves in/place of misery
• Let’s examine that place together.
A. v. 19-21 The Misery Of The Accusations
• Paul/Silas/falsely accused/selfish men.
• Men who cared for nothing but money
• They didn’t care/poor demon possessed girl
• They made their living off of her.
• They’re not above lying/scheming/get revenge
• Paul/Silas are taking away their income.
The problem with their story was nothing they said of Paul and Silas was the truth.
All they had done/preach/Gospel and set a poor tortured soul free from bondage.
• Doing their best to serve the Lord and still trouble came.
• Have you ever been there?
B. v. 22-23 The Misery Of The Arrest
• rest/people/Philippi heard/false accusations
• they turned on Paul/Silas like a pack of rabid dogs.
• They hauled them into court;
• they were beaten and thrown into prison.
• The word “cast” means
• “to throw something with no concern for where it lands”.
These men were beaten like common criminals and thrown into prison.
All they had done was preach the Gospel and try to help someone and their troubles got worse and worse.
Have you ever been there?
C. v. 24 The Misery Of The Accommodations –
Paul and Silas were handed over to the jailer and “thrust” then into the inner prison, and then their feet were locked in the stocks.
• This was no prison like anything we have in this country.
• Our modern prisons/five-star resort compared to where these men found themselves.
• they would have been thrown into a deep, dark cell
• The nastiest place you could ever imagine.
• They would have been chained amid mud, filth and human waste.
• a dank, dark, dreary, dirty, disgusting, dangerous dungeon.
There for no other reason but for faithful, obedient service to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Have you ever been there?
I know that I touch this note a lot in my preaching, but God never said this life would be easy.
The Bible is very clear that the opposite would be true. Ecc. 2:17, “So I hated life, because the work that is done under the sun was grievous to me. All of it is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.”