Freedom from Chains of Injustice

 Then the multitude rose up together against them; and the magistrates tore off their clothes and commanded them to be beaten with rods. And when they had laid many stripes on them, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to keep them securely. Having received such a charge, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.

Acts 16:22-24 NKJV

Some people may have experienced landing in a prison cell, like Paul and Silas, guilty of no wrongdoing. Although the agony of confinement tortures the guilty, it must be unbearable for the innocent. We would expect nothing but grumbling and complaining about such injustice, but Paul and Silas’s reaction was just the opposite.

How did Paul and Silas land in prison?

A slave girl who was possessed by a spirit of divination brought her masters great profit by telling fortunes. Paul became annoyed as she followed them around the city, declaring that they were servants of the Most High God who proclaimed the way of salvation. After several days of this constant repetition, Paul had enough and cast out the spirits speaking through her. Her masters became enraged at their financial loss, so they dragged the two men before the town’s magistrates and blamed them for teaching unlawful customs.

With their clothes torn off and their bodies bruised and bleeding, Paul and Silas were thrown into prison and their feet bound with chains. Around midnight–a dark, cold, and hopeless time–they prayed and sang hymns of praise to God. The other prisoners listened, amazed that anyone could express joy and love for God in such terrible circumstances.

The result? God also listened and responded from heaven.

Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose. 

Acts 16:26 NKJV

The jailer awoke and, supposing all the prisoners had escaped, drew his sword to kill himself. Paul cried out to him, “‘Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!'” (Acts 16:28b NKJV). This supernatural display of God’s power brought the jailer to his knees, asking Paul and Silas what he must do to be saved.

They replied, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.

Acts 16:31 NKJV

The jailer took Paul and Silas to his home where he washed their wounds. Then Paul preached the gospel to the jailer’s entire household and baptized them into their new faith. Afterward, the jailer fed them a meal and greatly rejoiced in his and his family’s new spiritual birth.

And justice is served…

The next day, the magistrates heard what had happened, and the prison keeper told Paul and Silas they had their freedom. Instead, Paul objected to their unjust treatment as Roman citizens, which scared the magistrates because they had acted unlawfully.

 But Paul said to them, ‘They have beaten us openly, uncondemned Romans, and have thrown us into prison. And now do they put us out secretly? No indeed! Let them come themselves and get us out.’

Acts 16:37 NKJV

Not only did they escort them out of prison, but they pleaded with the men to leave their city.

What is the key to deliverance from chains of injustice?

Singing songs of worship and praise. Prayer. When we glorify God, He responds with His everlasting love, which breaks every chain of bondage.

Let’s turn our eyes away from our unjust suffering and look to God.

But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. ‘And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.

1 Peter 3:14, 17 NKJV

Here is an old hymn you may remember that captures the spirit of Acts 16, called Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.

O soul are you weary and troubled
No light in the darkness you see
There’s light for a look at the Savior
And life more abundant and free

Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in his wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of his glory and grace

His word shall not fail you he promised
Believe him and all will be well
Then go to a world that is dying
His perfect salvation to tell

Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in his wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of his glory and grace

by Helen H. Lemmel

Therefore, let us hope in God. Whatever chains of injustice may bind us, let’s pray and sing, resting in the knowledge that He alone is able to deliver us out of bondage.

Freedom from Chains of Injustice copyright by Karen Jurgens 2021

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  1. Such a powerful message here for today. As Christians, we’re seeing more and more injustices each day. I don’t mean to be political here, but I couldn’t help but think of the Canadian pastor who was jailed because he dare defy an unlawful and ungodly government edict to close Christ’s church to all people. I thought, and prayed, also for those who lawfully gathered in DC on January 6th, 2021 and are now being held without due process of law and the right to a speedy trial. As the days move ever close to Christ’s imminent return for His true followers, we will be seeing more of this happening throughout the world. Let us remember how Paul and Silas handled it, and be prepared to change hearts through how we handle the injustices in our lives. God’s blessings Ms. Karen.

    1. Thanks so much, brother J.D. for your astute comments. Injustice has always existed, but it has multiplied in recent years all around the world. As you said, it’s one of the signs of Christ’s soon return. Our days make lessons from the Bible even more pertinent than ever. May God show His awesome miracle power of deliverance and may we use it to bring the lost into His Kingdom. God’s blessings and Happy Thanksgiving!

    1. Yes, worship is such an important key to a move of God, especially in these days. Jesus makes us free indeed!

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