Reverend Robert Hudson, Littleby Baptist Church
In the Book of Acts our God gave us a great example of a couple of guys who had a horrible day, yet they kept praising God. Paul and Silas were on their way to meet up with some friends for what we would call a prayer meeting. It was likely something they were looking forward to, then Paul was used by God to set a girl free from demon possession. I think I would be calling that a Great Day so far. A day that likely filled their hearts full of Praise for their God and all that He was doing in them and around them.
“19 When her owners realized that their hope of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to the authorities. 20 Bringing them before the chief magistrates, they said, “These men are seriously disturbing our city. They are Jews 21 and are promoting customs that are not legal for us as Romans to adopt or practice.” 22 The crowd joined in the attack against them, and the chief magistrates stripped off their clothes and ordered them to be beaten with rods. 23 After they had severely flogged them, they threw them in jail, ordering the jailer to guard them carefully. 24 Receiving such an order, he put them into the inner prison and secured their feet in the stocks.” – Acts 16:19-24
Paul and Silas were seized by a mob, turned over to authorities, had false charges filed against them, stripped, beaten, and thrown into jail. Talk about a good day turned bad!
They were not thrown into a holding cell we see in movies or TV shows. They were thrown into something that looked more like an old school solitary confinement in some prisoner camp. Modern-day solitary confinement with light and some form of air flow would have been a huge improvement over where Paul and Silas were being held. They had no light, no air flow, and if that was not bad enough their feet were put into stocks. They were not thrown into any old jail cell. They were not given a cot to lay on. These guys had been severely flogged, they were in pain, and the guard still placed boards between their feet.
For the complete column, see this week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard.