Friday, September 3, 2010

God of Reversals...again

Interesting story. Here are the basics:

Paul and Silas share the gospel in Philippi, a Roman colony where Roman citizens have the same rights as if they were in Italy. A demon possessed slave girl, who is used by her master to tell the future and make him money, follows them around, telling everyone that they were from God and had the way of salvation. After a few days of this, Paul got annoyed and cast out the demon. When that happened, the slave girl's owner got mad because when the demon left, so did her ability to tell the future. He complained to the town magistrate who, thinking they were Jews, threw Paul and Silas in prison, only after having them beaten.

Now here's where it gets interesting. The jailer is told to "guard them securely" so he takes them into an inner part of the prison and puts their feet in the stocks. There was no way they would escape.

Around midnight, while singing hymns and praying, Paul and Silas find themselves freed from their chains due to a supernatural earthquake. Not only were their chains off, but the doors were all opened as well.

You would think at this point, Paul and Silas would have left the prison, thus changing their circumstance from prisoners to free men and that is the point of my God of Reversals story today. But no...they are not the subject of my post.

When the jailer realized that the earthquake had freed his prisoners, he knew his life was over - literally. That was the penalty for allowing an escape. He drew his sword and was ready to kill himself, when from within the cell Paul cried out to him. The jailer could not believe they hadn't left and he immediately asked what he must do to be saved.

Interesting, huh?

Why that question?

He must have known the charges. He must have heard the prayers and songs. And he must have concluded that the driving force behind two men who would choose not to run, must be worth asking about.

Immediately his eternal destination was changed. He was literally seconds away from eternal damnation, but God stopped him and saved him. Not only him, but God saved his whole household that day.

And right now, they are all with Jesus.

Think about it.

Hmmm...He is the God of reversals. His timing is perfect and His love is never ending.

Speaking of ending...the end of the story goes like this. The next morning the magistrate decided to release Paul and Silas. But Paul had an ace up his sleeve. You see, Paul and Silas were beaten because they were Jews, but in truth, they both had Roman blood. Their Roman citizenship had been violated because there had not been a public hearing, plus Roman citizens were not allowed to be scourged and beaten.

So Paul sent a message to the magistrate that instead of having the police give them the message of their release, he'd prefer to have the magistrate come himself, considering he was a Roman citizen and all.

It's just kind of funny that Paul felt it was necessary to make his point, but then again, just because he was a follower of Christ didn't mean that he had to be a patsy and let the magistrate break the law. He had rights and he was smart enough to demand them.

So the jailer had his life turned around.

I thought it was a good story - just one more person I want to look up when I get to heaven...


  1. Before anybody asks, it's in Acts 16:11-40...

  2. You know, even though Paul utilized his Roman citizenship, he still left town at their request. At that point, he didn't insist in his right to be there. He complied and moved on. I think we can see from both points of view. One, insisting on our rights in certain areas. Two, giving up our rights.

    Have fun and stay busy - Luke 19:13

    -The Orange Mailman

  3. One of my favorite books, and I hold the verse Acts 16:31 as one of my life verses, praying my own household to all be saved. Over the years one by one is being changed by the Holy spirit, touching them in some way and bringing the light to their eyes. God is a God of reversals~~~ Love that too!!