Vers le milieu de la nuit, Paul et Silas priaient et chantaient les louanges de Dieu, et les prisonniers les entendaient.

PAUL AND SILAS THE MIDNIGHT PRAISERS

CHRIST THE ROCK CONGREGATION

Dimanche 23 juin 2019

Sermon by Pasteur Marc Simeon

PAUL AND SILAS THE MIDNIGHT PRAISERS

(WHINERS VS PRAISERS)

Actes 16:25 ¶ Vers le milieu de la nuit, Paul et Silas priaient et chantaient les louanges de Dieu, et les prisonniers les entendaient. (LSV)

25 ¶ But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. (NKJV)

INTRODUCTION

  • Without noticing it, we have become a generation of whiners.

  • People generally feel that they have the right to whine and to express themselves when they experience unfairness or unnecessary hardships.

  • I know that I am guilty of whining too much in God’s ears.

  • The children of Israel got in big trouble with God in the desert for their non-stop whining and complaining.

  • God wiped out an entire generation saved Joshua and Caleb because of their whining after the return of the spies.

  • Whining can be demeaning and insulting to God, yet we fall so often in that same pit of whining our way through life.

  • Most of our prayers are whining sessions to God.

  • Imagine been married to a whiner, you will need a lot of prayers to endure the short marital life.

  • I often hear people say of others: “so and so is: (ingrat, pa konn satisfè. Plenyadò, san konsyans, anyen pa janm ase pou intel, pa konn kontante,; intel ap fè’m fou; intel ap chage tet mwen; intel ap fè’m egzijans, etc.)”

  • Whining tends to wipe out all the good in someone’s character on the cause of the least dissatisfaction.

  • Whining can be a form of manipulation to wear out a person to achieve the whiner’s expectation.

  • Today, we will be looking at two individuals who would have had all the rights to whine about the odd and unfair circumstances they found themselves into, but who chose to praise God instead.

  • We will be talking about Paul and Silas and how they were praising God in the midnight hour in the Philippians’ prison.

  • Background
    • Second Missionary journey, after the breakup with Barnabas
    • After Paul was interrupted in his by a divine revelation to go to Macedonia (Europe).
  • The Predisposition of Paul to Follow the Holy Spirit
  • How God reserves the rights to change our plans.
  • The Promptness of the Missionary crew.
    • How they wasted no time

Actes 16 : 9-36

9Pendant la nuit, Paul eut une vision: un Macédonien lui apparut, et lui fit cette prière: Passe en Macédoine, secours-nous!

    10Après cette vision de Paul, nous cherchâmes aussitôt à nous rendre en Macédoine, concluant que le Seigneur nous appelait à y annoncer la bonne nouvelle.

    11Étant partis de Troas, nous fîmes voile directement vers la Samothrace, et le lendemain nous débarquâmes à Néapolis.

Straight course to Samothrace …
This journey in a single day was possible because of a
favoring wind; because, “on a later occasion (Acts 20:6), a voyage from Philippi to Troas took five days.” F4 (quote)

    12De là nous allâmes à Philippes, qui est la première ville d’un district de Macédoine, et une colonie. Nous passâmes quelques jours dans cette ville.0.

PHILIPPI = Europe

The Philippians remained very dear to Paul and vice versa, because it was at Philippi that Paul first landed in the European continent, and first to embrace the Gospel.

    13Le jour du sabbat, nous nous rendîmes, hors de la porte, vers une rivière, où nous pensions que se trouvait un lieu de prière. Nous nous assîmes, et nous parlâmes aux femmes qui étaient réunies.

On the Sabbath day …
There was no synagogue in Philippi, but whatever Jews might have been in the area could have been expected to observe prayers on the Sabbath, and the preachers “supposed” such a place of prayer to be a certain site on the river’s edge.

.” F9 The fact of there having been no synagogue means that there were fewer than ten Jewish men living in Philippi, that being the number required before a synagogue could be built. F10 In the absence of a synagogue, the Jews often provided places of prayer by the rivers, or other suitable locations,

the custom of going to the rivers for these sites dating from the Babylonian captivity.

“Claudius had banished the Jews from Rome and therefore from the colonies (Acts 18:2), and it may be that Philippi had obeyed this order.” The river in this case was the Gangites.

    14L’une d’elles, nommée Lydie, marchande de pourpre, de la ville de Thyatire, était une femme craignant Dieu, et elle écoutait. Le Seigneur lui ouvrit le cœur, pour qu’elle fût attentive à ce que disait Paul.

  • Bien de personnes qui embrasent le message de l’évangile ont été préalablement des gens qui craignaient Dieu.
  • Pour plusieurs, leur arrivée au protestantisme ne représente qu’un ajustement de croyance comme s’en était de Lydie.

NB. Ceci ne peut arriver que par l’aide du Seigneur comme dans le cas de Lydie. (Le Seigneur lui ouvrit le cœur, pour qu’elle fût attentive à ce que disait Paul.)

    15Lorsqu’elle eut été baptisée, avec sa famille, elle nous fit cette demande: Si vous me jugez fidèle au Seigneur, entrez dans ma maison, et demeurez-y. Et elle nous pressa par ses instances.

  • Lydie était la provision de logement et de toutes les accommodations des missionnaires.
  • Quand vous partez en mission, ne demandez pas trop de questions. Pensez plutôt que le Seigneur y pourvoira les nécessaires.

16Comme nous allions au lieu de prière, une servante qui avait un esprit de Python, et qui, en devinant, procurait un grand profit à ses maîtres, vint au-devant de nous,

Spirit of divination …
“The Greek here has “
A Python spirit,” thus Luke identified this unfortunate girl as one coming from the pagan temple at Delphi, where the Pythian Apollo was worshiped, the python being sacred to him, and his devotees being said to have the python spirit.”

  • When you intent to do mission work, expect Satan to show-up in one way or another.
  • When Satan is unable to stop you from doing mission work, he will join you as an ally.

    17et se mit à nous suivre, Paul et nous. Elle criait: Ces hommes sont les serviteurs du Dieu Très Haut, et ils vous annoncent la voie du salut.

  • On the surface, it looks like a much needed help, for this girl was well known for her exact divination.
  • Some people I can imagine only took Paul seriously after the attestation of this possessed young girl.
  • The devil tried to do the work of the Holy Spirit.
  • Many seem to be indiscriminative where their help come from in fulfilling the work of God.
  • Many pastors sell their churches to cults in the look for help.
  • The man who expressed : “Eske’w ka fè-m jwenn yon blan pou ede’m nan ministè-a”

Servants of the Most High God …

The demon was saying the truth, but it was getting the attention away from the missionaries.

  • I know a story like this. The man who kept interrupting an American preacher by saying AMENAN!!! repeatedly after each point the preacher made.

Jesus had to rebuke the Gerasene demoniacs in Mark 5.

  • Mr 5:6 Ayant vu Jésus de loin, il accourut, se prosterna devant lui, 7 et s’écria d’une voix forte: Qu’y a-t-il entre moi et toi, Jésus, Fils du Dieu Très-Haut? Je t’en conjure au nom de Dieu, ne me tourmente pas.

    18Elle fit cela pendant plusieurs jours. Paul fatigué se retourna, et dit à l’esprit: Je t’ordonne, au nom de Jésus Christ, de sortir d’elle. Et il sortit à l’heure même.

  • The girl had exhausted the patience of Paul.
  • Paul understood the strategy of Satan.
  • Paul allowed the situation because he understood that if he casted away of this demon prematurely would hurt the mission.
  • He allowed the nuisance until it became unbearable.
  • Some of us servants of God lack this needed tactic to wait for the right timing.
  • If Paul had casted out the demon at first glance, he would not have been able to spread the gospel as he did.

    19Les maîtres de la servante, voyant disparaître l’espoir de leur gain, se saisirent de Paul et de Silas, et les traînèrent sur la place publique devant les magistrats.

  • The missionaries were fine until they affected the pocket of the owners of this girl.
  • Some sermon you preach can cause you your life. Telling the truth is surprisingly more costly than you think.

    20Ils les présentèrent aux préteurs, en disant: Ces hommes troublent notre ville; 21ce sont des Juifs, qui annoncent des coutumes qu’il ne nous est permis ni de recevoir ni de suivre, à nous qui sommes Romains.

  • When people set out to destroy you, they will never display the true motive.
  • They made it a national crisis. Like politicians, they prey on the sensitivities and the pride of the people to advance their own causes.
  • They made it to look like a Jewish invasion.
  • As national elections are closing in, watch how these same tactics will surface in efforts to win.

22La foule se souleva aussi contre eux, et les préteurs, ayant fait arracher leurs vêtements, ordonnèrent qu’on les battît de verges. 23Après qu’on les eut chargés de coups, ils les jetèrent en prison, en recommandant au geôlier de les garder sûrement.

  • This is how a mob works.
    • Punishments before trials.
    • People’s justice before order of the land.
    • Corrupted officials to direct the order of what to do next.

    24Le geôlier, ayant reçu cet ordre, les jeta dans la prison intérieure, et leur mit les ceps aux pieds.

  • Lower officers not to ask question from superiors.
  • No one would take the chance to defend Paul and his companions.
  • The whole operation was illegal.
  • The processes of the trial, the beating, the prison, the inner prison were all illegitimate.

GOD SHOWED UP AND SHOOK UP THE PLACE / BAT CHEN AN TANN MET LI

    25Vers le milieu de la nuit, Paul et Silas priaient et chantaient les louanges de Dieu, et les prisonniers les entendaient.

  • The attitudes of Paul and Silas in the prison beg for our attention.
  • They were doing what? They were doing it when ?
  • Why are you so happy brother Paul ?
  • Why are you singing ?
  • Do you know that you may loose your life in the morning ?
  • What medicine are you in ?

    26Tout à coup il se fit un grand tremblement de terre, en sorte que les fondements de la prison furent ébranlés; au même instant, toutes les portes s’ouvrirent, et les liens de tous les prisonniers furent rompus.

  • La victoire dans la louange.
  • The attitudes of Paul and Silas were in line for the intervention of God.

    27Le geôlier se réveilla, et, lorsqu’il vit les portes de la prison ouvertes, il tira son épée et allait se tuer, pensant que les prisonniers s’étaient enfuis.

  • Losing a prisoner was an automatic death sentence.
  • The gate been opened signaled the absence of all the prisoners.
  • Sleeping on the job was not acceptable.

    28Mais Paul cria d’une voix forte: Ne te fais point de mal, nous sommes tous ici.

  • All counted for was a miracle in itself.

    29Alors le geôlier, ayant demandé de la lumière, entra précipitamment, et se jeta tout tremblant aux pieds de Paul et de Silas; 30il les fit sortir, et dit: Seigneurs, que faut-il que je fasse pour être sauvé?

  • The Jailors didn’t have to be so mean to the missionaries.
  • He then recognized that these guys were not ordinary people.
  • He then realized that these guys had superior ethics than the common folks of town.
  • He took charge to liberate them.
  • He sought on how to be saved
  • He received Christ along with his entire household.
  • He got baptized in the middle of the night.
  1. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ
  2. Repent of their sins and transgressions
  3. Be baptized into Christ for the remission of sins.

    31Paul et Silas répondirent: Crois au Seigneur Jésus, et tu seras sauvé, toi et ta famille.

    32Et ils lui annoncèrent la parole du Seigneur, ainsi qu’à tous ceux qui étaient dans sa maison.

    33Il les prit avec lui, à cette heure même de la nuit, il lava leurs plaies, et aussitôt il fut baptisé, lui et tous les siens.

This is another so-called “household” baptism; but no infants were mentioned;

    34Les ayant conduits dans son logement, il leur servit à manger, et il se réjouit avec toute sa famille de ce qu’il avait cru en Dieu.

  • The new treat that Paul and his companions received of the jailor exceeded the first one by far.

    35Quand il fit jour, les préteurs envoyèrent les licteurs pour dire au geôlier: Relâche ces hommes. 36Et le geôlier annonça la chose à Paul: Les préteurs ont envoyé dire qu’on vous relâchât; maintenant donc sortez, et allez en paix. 37 Mais Paul dit aux licteurs: Après nous avoir battus de verges publiquement et sans jugement, nous qui sommes Romains, ils nous ont jetés en prison, et maintenant ils nous font sortir secrètement! Il n’en sera pas ainsi. Qu’ils viennent eux-mêmes nous mettre en liberté.

38 Les licteurs rapportèrent ces paroles aux préteurs, qui furent effrayés en apprenant qu’ils étaient Romains.

39 Ils vinrent les apaiser, et ils les mirent en liberté, en les priant de quitter la ville.

40 Quand ils furent sortis de la prison, ils entrèrent chez Lydie, et, après avoir vu et exhorté les frères, ils partirent.

  • Paul and Silas could have made a mess of the situation had they decided to exercised their rights as Roman citizens.
  • They would have been remembered not for their good deeds but for their vindications.
  • Whiners would have seized the turn of events to draw some attentions to themselves. But, as (praisers), Paul and Silas counted it all good because it served to the furtherance of the Gospel.
  • They complete the mission by going over Lydia’s house which had turned to a house church.
  • They fortified the saints and left town with a great sense of achievement and satisfaction.

CONCLUSION

  • What a missionary journey!
  • What a display of faith and serenity and power from Paul and Silas
  • What an unconditional joy.
  • What an exhibit of self-control and forgiveness!
  • See where you fit in the picture.
  • See how you would deal with the silence of God.
  • See what you would do in the middle of the night after the unfair treatment.
  • See how you would react, when an escape became possible.
  • See how you would react when the ball would be on your court to avenge yourself.
  • And finally, see how you would end the journey with respect the brethren for whose cause you suffered all these atrocities.
  • May God give all of us the attitude of Paul and Silas to face our present trials and tribulations!

AMEN!

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