Clank! The cell door slammed shut. Tramp, tramp, tramp. The sound of the jailer’s boots echoed through the cold, dark prison as he hurried away.
It was quiet now. The only sounds were of a rat scurrying across the dirt floor, and the heavy breathing of the prisoners. They slept if they could, or just sat waiting, waiting, waiting through the long, lonesome night!
Time passed. At midnight, when the prison was darker than ever, the prisoners heard a strange sound. Was that music? Yes! Someone was singing! They’d never heard anything like it before. Happy songs of praise were coming from somewhere. Who could be singing here in a dark, miserable, prison?
It was Paul and Silas. They were in the middle of the prison, and they couldn’t sleep. Their feet were swollen from being locked in stocks. Their backs hurt from the beatings they had received that afternoon. Some very bad men had hurt them and locked them in prison just because they were working for Jesus!
Paul and Silas were not afraid or angry because of the way they had been treated. They loved God. They knew that God loved them, too, and was right there in the cell with them. They were so thankful that Jesus was their Friend. They prayed, and felt so sure God heard their prayers that they couldn’t help but sing!
As Paul and Silas sang, there was a great earthquake. The prison began to shake, and the doors of the prison flew wide open.
The jailer was terribly afraid when he saw the prison doors had opened. He thought for sure the prisoners had all run away and escaped! He was going to kill himself, but as he drew out his sword, Paul cried, “Don’t hurt yourself. We are all here.”
The jailer quickly got a light and came into the cell. He fell down in front of Paul and Silas. He knew God had sent the earthquake to set those good men free. He wanted to know how he could be free from all the sins he had in his heart.
Paul and Silas were happy to tell him about Jesus. The jailer believed what he heard. He gave his heart to Jesus, and then took Paul and Silas to his very own home. There he washed their sore backs and gave them something to eat. After that the jailer and his family and Paul and Silas all rejoiced and praised God together.
Jesus is our Friend too. And it doesn’t matter if we are happy or sad, we can always sing because Jesus loves us and is always with us.
This Bible lesson is the story of Paul and Silas in prison. Your child will learn that because those two men trusted in God, they were able to sing and praise God even under trying circumstances.
Help your child make a poster highlighting the theme for this week. Give him a large piece of brightly colored construction paper. From another sheet of paper, cut out block letters spelling the words, “Trust God.” Arrange the letters on the construction paper. Dip an old toothbrush in white tempera paint and rub the toothbrush across a piece of screen held over the construction paper. The white paint will splatter through and around the letters.
After the paint has dried, carefully remove the cutout letters. Encourage your child to mount the poster where he can see it often.
SUNDAY: Psalm 5:11
MONDAY: Psalm 119:165
TUESDAY: Psalm 4:8
WEDNESDAY: John 14:27
THURSDAY: John 16:33
FRIDAY: Acts 16:25
SATURDAY: 1 Thessalonians 5:8