”Let those men go” [Acts 16:35]
Paul and Silas were doing a good work at Philippi. They met Lydia at the riverside where women resorted to pray, and through their preaching, she became a Christian. Then the poor demoniac girl was delivered from awful satanic oppression. But a good work does not please everyone, and the girl’s masters, who lived on her soothsaying abilities, attacked God’s faithful servants.
They were scourged and thrown into prison. With backs bleeding and sore they could be forgiven for indulging in a little self-pity and wondering why they, the servants of the Lord, should suffer so.
But their reaction was very different. In prison, Paul and Silas prayed and sang so heartily that the other prisoners heard them. Paul later exhorted the Philippian Christians, “Rejoice in the Lord always” [Philippians 4:4]. In the prison, Paul practiced what he soon would preach.
God stepped in with a great earthquake that burst open not only the prison but also the bonds of Paul and Silas. But their work in Philippi was not over. The jailor, on the point of suicide, cried out, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” Then came the glorious message of hope: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.” That night the jailor was freed from sin, and the next morning Paul and Silas were released from captivity. There is no barrier strong enough to hold sinners when the omnipotent God comes to their rescue.