Legally Beaten? Then Sing and Pray!
You may be unfamiliar with King Philip II of Macedon, but he left a legacy. The town of Philippi was named after him, and his son was Alexander the Great.
When Paul and Silas visited Philippi on a missionary journey, they were severely beaten for casting out a demon that possessed a young slave girl. They were also jailed after the beating. In response to the unjustified punishment, Paul and Silas prayed and sang hymns.
While confined, there was an earthquake that opened the jail doors. Thinking they had escaped, the jailer planned to kill himself fearing death to be an eventuality. Paul called out, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.” Amazed, the jailer repented and turned in faith to Christ.
I’ve provided this abbreviated back-story (found in Acts 16) because I believe it was on Paul’s mind when he later wrote his letter to the Philippians. “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves” (Philippians 2:3). “So that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (2:10,11).
Paul and Silas were physically beaten then responded by praying and singing.
Christians across America are not physically beaten, but the legal assaults are appearing fast and furious. This morning I read a story about a high school band in Mississippi prohibited from playing, “How Great Thou Art” at the halftime show. This was the result of a lawsuit brought by a single student claiming discrimination, and a U.S. District Court Judge who agreed with him. So the band was “benched.”
The unjustified assault on Christian values continues. But I love the response of those in attendance at the football game. THEY SANG! In defiance, they harmonized “How Great Thou Art” for all to hear!
I don’t know if Judge Carlton Reeves (Obama appointee) or the single plaintiff heard the response, but I have confidence that Paul’s prophetic utterance, “… at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, … and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord …” will prove true. After all, 25% of Scripture is predictive, and not one of more than 1800 prophecies that has past its’ time to be fulfilled has failed to be spot on. That is what mathematicians call an anomaly.