Paul’s and Silas’ song in the mid- night brought them comfort in singing hymns of praise to God, after been beaten with many blows and thrown into prison. They were put into the inner prison and their feet fastened in the stocks (Acts 16:23-25). The power that comes from praising God is manifested through many ways, when they come from the heart that is close to God in obedience. Paul’s and Silas’ song of praises, resulted in a great earthquake, causing the very foundations of the prison to be shaken; and at once all the doors were opened and everyone’s shackles were unfastened (Act 16:26). God heard their prayers and accepted their praises with power manifested through an earthquake. That was powerful, very powerful. No human’s chains would withstand such power. Praises from a heart that is bleeding with pain, is something to think about. Humanly speaking, they had no reason to sing. However, they beat the odds against the prospect, to reach the highest peak of the mountain they were climbing. No, they did not succumb to circumstances, neither to the imprisonment they were victims of. The outcome of their experience was the salvation of the jailer and his entire household (Acts 16:29-34). A mid-night song while in prison made a difference to many of those who were listening, and God’s purpose of salvation was accomplished in several lives. A song in the night, when life is going through troubles and unable to survive its tempests, is a rescuer in the hopelessness of life.
The psalmist Asaph’s life was sometimes surrounded by challenges and trials, noticed in the psalms he wrote, and in particular, the psalm 77, which he started by saying, “I will cry to God with my voice, even to God with my voice, and He will give ear and hearken to me. In the day of my trouble, I seek the Lord; in the night my hand is stretched out without slacking up I remember God; I am disquieted and groan; I muse in prayer, and my spirit faints” (Ps. 77:1-3). The remembrance of God in the midst of his anguish, brings him a song in the night, with his heart meditating and his spirit searching answers for these questions: Will the Lord cast off forever? And will He be favorable no more? And Have His mercy and loving-kindness ceased forever? Have His promises ended for all time? Has God abandoned or forgotten His graciousness? Has He in anger shut up His compassion? (Ps. 77:7-9). Questions that our hearts, desire answers in our troubles. Even though his trials were not a result of persecution for the sake of the Gospel, as it was Paul’s and Silas’, his heart was in the right place with God, for he too had a song in the night when all seemed to go against his nation. He remembered the past deeds of the Lord and His wonders of old; he meditated upon His works and confessed the Lord’s faithfulness to his people. That was his song in the night, as he continued remembering God’s mighty deeds performed to his people, Israel.
Life is not a bed of roses; it was not given to us on a gold plate. It is instead, travail from the beginning of life. Mothers well know the pain to give birth to her baby. And her pain does not stop there. Worries, anxieties and fears often embrace them concerning the lives of their children. YAHSHUA’S mother more than any other mother, suffered the spear cutting through her soul, witnessing the cruelty performed to her son watching the Romans nailing him to the cross. Life, however, is a choice. We either decide to take it as it is with a song, or live miserably, carrying the weight of our bad decisions and consequences, blaming God. A song in the night, in our sorrows, is a gift to God. It is thanking Him; it is letting the world know that He is good, good all the time, as Paul and Silas did in their chains. Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him, was Job’s song in the night after a great [whirlwind] from the desert, smote the four corners of the house and it fell upon the young people and they died; he arose and rent his robe and shaved his head and fell down upon the ground and worshiped (God), saying, Naked came I from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord! In all this, job sinned not nor charged God foolishly (Job 13:15a; 1:19-22). In spite of his wife’s comments, Do you still hold fast your blameless uprightness? Renounce God and die! seeing his situation as he took a piece of broken pottery with which to scrape himself, and sat down among the ashes. But he answered her, You speak as one of the impious and foolish women would speak. What? Shall we accept good at the hand of God and shall we not accept misfortune and what is of a bad nature? (Job 2:8-10). In our nights, it is natural for us to remember only our sorrows, when there have been many a bright day we have enjoyed under God’s blessings. “It is well,” said the Shunamite woman at the death of her only son, when asked how things were with her and her family. God, in His mercy brought her son to life through the Prophet Elisha. Her words were prophetic in meaning, for as she believed, she received her son back. Abraham was told by God to sacrifice his son of the promise, Isaac. His soul was grieved with the command, but at the same time, he reasoned that God was able to raise his son up even from among the dead. Indeed, in the sense that Isaac was figuratively dead, he did receive him back from the dead (Heb. 11:19). All was well for Abraham because of his faith in God. When his son asked the question, Where is the lamb for the sacrifice? He answered him, God Himself will provide a lamb for the sacrifice. That was his song in his night. He believed; therefore, he received his son back.
It Is Well with My Soul, is a title of a well- known hymn written many years ago by Horatio Spafford (1828-1888). Its message is fresh every time we sing it, for it serves well in teaching us to say, “It is well with my soul” in our tragedies. As a matter of fact, he wrote the words of this song, at the loss of his four daughters to a ship accident.
Here are the words:
When peace like a river attendeth my way
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say
It is well, it is well with my soul.
Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come
Let this blest assurance control
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate
And has shed His own blood for my soul
My sin, oh the bliss of this glorious thought
My sin, not in part, but the whole
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul
And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend
Even so, it is well with my soul.
It is well with my soul
It is well, it is well
With my soul
Although, things may not change, as it didn’t for Horatio, but our hearts will be comforted in our circumstances and we will not succumb to despair; we will be strengthened spiritually, emotionally and physically in the hope that all will be well with our soul, when we learn to sing this song in our dark nights. It worked for Paul and Silas, for Asaph, and for Job and it will work for you and for me. May our God be praised through it all!