Acts 16:22, 35

The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten with rods.

When it was daylight, the magistrates sent their officers to the jailer with the order: “Release those men.”

Like a tree barren of it’s bark in winter, were the backs of Paul and Silas as they were beaten with rods void of mercy.  As the status quo feared their prominent position of money making, temple shaking lifestyle, these two preachers lived without fear.

The scene takes place with a demonic spirit within the female slave, who predicted the future, earning a great deal of money for her owners.  As she continued to shadow Paul and his group, she pretended that she was a believer.  When Paul had enough of her antics, he spoke to the spirit within her, saying, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!”  Well, we all know that in that very moment the evil spirit left her.

Never mind the fact that she was probably relieved and truly exhausted from her long period of demon possession; but at that point, no one cared about her, but involved the authorities and said they broke the law.  After being severely beaten, they were thrown in prison, consistently under guard.

The preachers in this story, realized the importance of seasons and God’s faithfulness.  I can’t say if I would readily pray and sing, but when faced with chains on my body and positioned in a very dark cell, what else should a Child of God do?  Suddenly the sounds of songs changed into the move of the Almighty!

As the foundation of the jail was shaken, releasing them to freedom, the jailer wanted to know what it would take to get acquainted with such an awesome God!  The jailer was saved and his entire house.  When daylight appeared the magistrates gave an order to:  “Release those men.”  Were the skies blue, I don’t know?  Was it a cloudy day, well I don’t have an answer for that either?

But Paul and Silas release can be liken to a Blue Sky on hold, just behind a horrible winter season.  Stripped of protection is the barren tree with no leaves, weathering through wind burns and broken branches.  But these two preachers understood, that like this tree; their existence depended on the depths of their spiritual roots for survival and the faith to wait on a vision when seen through blue skies!

Edith