Slightly Obsessed #086 "Song in the Night" (Wednesday Devo) by Pamela Thorson on 2014-10-08 13:04:01
I will remember my song in the night. – Psalm 77:6
It could be a story in the news anywhere in the world today. But it happened two thousand years ago in the city of Philippi.
Two Christian men were on their way to pray with other Christians when they were attacked by a mob of thugs.
The men were dragged to the Roman magistrates in the city, where they were condemned and beaten. According to the account in Acts, they had done nothing worse than free a young slave woman whose fortune-selling talent had profited her masters. For this sin, they were dragged before the authorities and thrown into the stocks of the inner part of the prison, probably because it was the most secure.
The men were the apostle Paul and Silas. The date was the first century after the appearance, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
For all they knew, they would be in that place until they rotted. As the night deepened around them, they could do nothing buy lay wounded in their chains in the bowels of the earth. As midnight approached, they were too miserable to sleep. They couldn’t even escape for the few brief hours that dreams could afford.
The Bible gives us this account of what happened next:
“But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them; and suddenly there came a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison house were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were unfastened.” – Acts 16: 25-26
So how did they react to injustice? In the depths of the night, they sang. Chained in the heart of their prison, they sang. To the Lord of Light, they sang; the Voice of God reaching out in that hell-hole to the men in the other cells. They listened raptly, accustomed to the sounds of cursing in that place, but not to the sacred sacrifice of worship.
Someone else heard, too. God heard their voices lifted to Him, and He answered them out of the night. With a mighty earthquake, He shook the place, opened every door to every cell, and unfastened every chain. The jailer and his entire family were saved that night, and a prison full of dazed prisoners were released by the grace of God.
Praising God, in spite of our circumstances, frees us. The enemy has no hold on a person whose heart cannot be chained by the circumstances of life.
That man is truly free.
When you are chained by circumstances beyond your control, you only have one thing to remember in the night:
Excerpted in part from Song in the Night by Pamela Thorson.
About Pamela Thorson:
Pamela Thorson is a licensed practical nurse, author, and full-time caregiver. She pioneered in the homeschooling movement from 1982-2006 and authored her first book, Song in the Night, in 2008. She resides in the Northwest with her family.
Slightly Obsessed #186: When the Path Ahead Is Fearsome
The room was dark and shadowed, the only sound within its walls the rhythmic whoosh of the ventilator beside my son’s bed. I sat on an uncomfortable chair jammed into one corner of the room. In the faint light that fell from the window across the pages of the Bible I held, I tried to corral my stampeding fears long enough to find some comfort from God’s Word. Outside the door of his room, a cacophony of voices from the nurses’ station jarred our shattered nerves.
Slightly Obsessed #185: Clean
They were just turning down the lights in the sanctuary as I awkwardly slid into a seat near the back of the church. I was tired and soiled by the previous week. Life had been especially difficult, and I had not handled the pressure well. I felt completely unhinged spiritually and wholly unworthy to be in God’s presence. The worship team began with one of my favorite songs, and I hoped I didn’t look as vulnerable as I felt.
Slightly Obsessed #184: The Mark of Maturity
The infant finishes his bottle and smiles contentedly up at his mother. A trickle of milk courses down from the corner of his mouth. It’s a sweet scene because that’s what babies do. They are born with immature digestive systems and no teeth. Mother’s milk or formula are necessary for the child to survive and thrive. As they grow, their teeth begin to come in, their digestive abilities mature, and they can tolerate solid food.
Slightly Obsessed #183: He Knows Your Name
All sheep look alike to me. Defenseless, timid, and nondescript creatures, they tend to wander and get into trouble. When one falls, it needs help to get back on its feet. Its purpose in life is mostly to eat and make more sheep. It’s easy to see why Jesus equated them to humans. A line of sheep looks like a sea of wool and blank stares, huddled in a timid group behind their leader.
Slightly Obsessed #182 "When Speaking the Truth Makes You the Enemy"
The apostle Paul loved the people of God. After his conversion to Christ, he spent his life not only establishing churches, but also ministering to their needs. He often had the unpleasant duty of confronting issues that threatened the fledgling church, and his letters to the Galatians and to the Corinthians were especially aimed at keeping the churches rooted in the faith.
Slightly Obsessed #181 "The Moment before the Moment of Revelation"
The movie Ten Commandments famously depicted the rise, fall, and restoration of the Hebrew man who would one day lead his people out of Egypt. Set afloat as a baby in a basket to escape the wrath of Egypt, Moses was found by an Egyptian princess and unwittingly restored to his family to be raised as royalty. He was a man with a foot in two worlds, and his choice to follow the faith of his birth family cost him a king’s inheritance.