Summary: Praise opens the Door for God’s deliverance.
Acts 16: 22. Then the multitude rose up together against them; and the magistrates tore off their clothes and commanded them to be beaten with rods.
23. And when they had laid many stripes on them, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to keep them securely.
24. Having received such a charge, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.
25. But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.
26. 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.
27. 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.
28. But Paul called with a loud voice, saying, "Do yourself no harm, for we are all here.’’
29. Then he called for a light, ran in, and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas.
30. And he brought them out and said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’’
31. So they said, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.’’
Wow, we think we have it bad. When was the last time you had your life threatened for doing the will of God? What did Paul and Silas do when they found themselves in the midst of a mess? They were basically in a giant septic pit under the jail in terrible conditions, having been severely beaten, and bleeding. They began praising God out loud. So loud, in fact that the other prisoners heard them and were listening in.
They weren’t singing and praising God for being in this mess. They were praising Him in spite of it, for He is worthy to be praised. They were praising their deliverer. Get a hold of that! Don’t you know God must have taken pleasure in what He heard? We know He was listening to what they were singing. I can imagine Him saying, Yea those are my boys, and yes I Am their deliverer. For as soon as that sweet melody floated up to Him, the foundations of the jail began to shake. His power literally shook the building. He left no doubt that He was the one and only true God. What an opportunity for God to work through His children. God was glorified in the middle of this, and when God is glorified, people are drawn to Him. Can you see the part we have to play in this? They were set free, and not only them, everyone there was set free, weren’t they?
Some would say, well, they were apostles and God did those things back in those days. I would say to them, God would not have set them free if it wasn’t His will in the first place, would He? God’s will was brought to pass.
Their praise gave God an avenue to move in the middle of their distress. The Word declares that God inhabits the praises of His people, doesn’t it? He was most certainly there in the midst, and He will be in our midst when we praise Him as well.
The result of their praise was their deliverance, signs and wonders, and salvation for the lost. This is an awesome example for us. This is an opportunity for us as well, to let God show Himself strong through us to a lost and dying world. Satan tried to kill them, yet they turned the tables on him, God blessed them, and the jailer and his whole household were saved. Wow, what a testimony!