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25 But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed.

ACTS 16:25, 26

New King James Version

When looking at this passage of scripture, one must be aware of the conjunction that commences the text. The conjunction “But” is very informative because it implies an interruption of thought and action that has preceded it.

Vs. 19-24 speaks of…

“…Paul and Silas being dragged…”

“…seen as troublemakers…”

“…beaten with many stripes…”

“…thrown into prison…”

“…feet bound in chains…”

Vs. 25 says…BUT AT MIDNIGHT…

This means that there is an interruption in the flow of the text that was mentioned earlier in the pre-text. We see difficulty and adversity in verses 19-24 BUT appears in vs. 25 that implies a shift and change in the text from difficulty to possibility in spite of the difficulty.

In other words, the writer inserts a “but” in the text to help us to recognize that there is going to be a transition that may lead to transformation. Luke writes, “But at midnight…” leads us to believe that what looks like a dark time will be a time of illumination. When it comes to midnight, it seems to be the ending, but it is really a new beginning.

The text is tailored to teach us that our midnight means GOD IS GETTING READY TO GIVE US A NEW START…IN THE DARK. When it looks to be all over, God allows a midnight to remind us that HE IS PUSHING THE RESET BUTTON AND ALLOWING US TO START ALL OVER. The phrase “But at midnight” should remind us that God is giving us a new start in the dark. Why? It is in the dark where God can develop us NOW for what HE has in store NEXT.

Dr. James A. Simmons, Senior Pastor

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