Acts 16:25-26, 33—About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody’s chains came loose. At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptized.
The Holy Spirit guided Paul and Silas through a night vision by forbidding them to go certain directions and guiding them to go another. In Philippi, they found some Jewish women who accepted the Word and believed. After Paul had cast a spirit of divination out of a young lady, those who had used her to make money stirred up the town against them. They were whipped and thrown into prison. The prisoners must have been amazed to hear these men who had been beaten and sat in stocks singing praise to God. At midnight an earthquake opened the prison doors and their chains came loose. The guard was about to kill himself. Losing a prisoner meant his life would be forfeited. Paul stopped him by telling him all the prisoners were still there. Most people would be looking for a way to escape. Paul and Silas were looking for opportunities to share Jesus. The grateful soldier washed their wounds and gathered his family to hear their testimony about Jesus. He and his whole family believed and were baptized before one o’clock in the morning! I don’t think anyone slept that night. Most of us would wonder if God had made a mistake by allowing them to be thrown in prison. Paul and Silas praised God in everything and were given the opportunity to lead this Roman family, and probably many of the prisoners, to Jesus. God planned a midnight earthquake to establish a church in Philippi.