Paul and Silas Praise God in a Difficult Situation

Acts 16:16-40
Cast:  1 judge, 2 soldiers, Paul, Silas, guard, narrator, person 1 from crowd, person 2 from crowd, crowd.
At Rise:  Paul and Silas are standing before the judge, with the crowd of people surrounding them.

Crowd:  Arrest these men!  Arrest these men!

Judge: Order!  Order!

Crowd:  Arrest these men!  Arrest these men!

Judge: What is the charge?

Crowd:  Arrest these men!  Arrest these men!

Judge:  What have they done?

Crowd:  Arrest these men!  Arrest these men!

Person 1 from Crowd:  They are telling people about Jesus.

Person 2 from Crowd:  And they are doing things that are against our Roman law.

Crowd:  Arrest these men!  Arrest these men!

Judge: Hummmmmmmm...

Crowd:  Arrest these men!  Arrest these men!

Judge:  Throw Paul and Silas in jail!

(Soldiers take Paul and Silas to jail.)

Guard:  Who do we have here?

Soldier 1:  Prisoners.

Soldier 2:  Lock them up and see they don't escape.  Do you understand?

Guard:  Yes, sir!  I'll keep them safe.

(Paul and Silas sit against a wall.)

Narrator:  The guard unlocked the big door of the jail, put Saul and Silas in the dark, smelly room with no windows.  Their arms were chained, and the guard put their feet in leg irons locked around their ankles so they couldn’t walk.  He checked the lock on the big door again and then left.  Paul and Silas were left alone completely in the dark.  It was cold and damp -- a horrible place.  Minutes went by.  Hours went by.  Then it was almost midnight.

Paul:  Silas, are you asleep?

Silas:  Are you kidding, Paul?  I’m too cold.

Paul:  I can't sleep either.

Silas:  Are you scared?

Paul:  No.  God never sleeps.  I know He's watching over us.  Let’s pray.  Dear God, we don’t know why we are in this difficult situation but we’re going to trust in You.  Thank you being with us even here in awful place. Amen.

Silas:  I know what else might help.

Paul:  What?

Silas:  Let's sing. 

Paul:  I don't sing very well.

Silas:  That's okay.  God doesn't care how it sounds.  He just likes us to sing praises to Him.

(Paul and Silas silently sing while the narrator speaks.  It is obvious from their expressions they are singing songs of joy and praise.)

Narrator:  So, Paul and Silas began to sing songs of praise to God.  They sang and sang and sang. 

Silas:  WHAT’S THAT?

Paul:  I don't know. 

Silas:  The ground is moving!

Paul:  And look at the prison walls!  They are shaking!

Silas:  It’s an earthquake!  This whole building is going to topple on and we’ll be buried under the rubble.

Paul (standing):  My leg irons just fell off!  I can walk now.

Silas (standing):  My chains are off, too! And our prison cell door is open!

Paul:  Look!  All the doors have opened and all the prisoners are loose!

Narrator:  Somehow the guard had slept through the entire ordeal!  When he awoke and saw the doors swinging on their hinges, he figured all the prisoners had escaped.  He was SO scared!

Paul:  Guard, don’t be afraid!  We’re all here.  No one tried to escape.

Narrator:  Still trembling, the guard ran over to Paul and Silas. 

Guard (with hands on hips):  How did this happen?

Paul:  We prayed and sang praises to our God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.  He caused the earthquake and our chains to fall off.  He’s the One who opened the doors.  He is the Almighty One.  We trust in Jesus.  He hears and answers the prayers of those who believe in Him and call on Him.

Guard:  I want to believe.  What must I do to follow Him?

Silas:  You must ask Him to forgive your sins and come to live in your heart.  Believe on the Lord Jesus and you will be saved.

Narrator:  Paul and Silas told the guard in detail about Jesus and he was SO happy!  The next day the guard was told to release the men from jail.  Paul and Silas learned that even in difficult situations, they could praise God and help others learn about Jesus, too! 

Three Brave Men Did What Was Right -- Bible Story

Preparation: Make a sign which reads: NO! No - no - no! NO! Show the sign to the children and tell them when you hold it up during the story they are to chant it. (Practice a few times.) 

Interactive Bible Story: King Nebuchadnezzar said, “When you hear the music, you must bow down and worship the golden statue (Point to picture.). You must do this because I say so. And if you don‘t bow down and worship this statue, you will be thrown into a really, really hot oven.”

God said in the Ten Commandments that we are NOT to worship anyone or anything other than Him, because He is the one and only real God.

The king said, “I want everybody to come to the dedication of this statute.” So all the governors, judges, counselors, sheriffs, lawyers, chief officials and people from all the provinces gathered around the statue. Among all the people were three men who loved God very much: Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.

When the music began, people started bowing down to the statue. The governors bowed. The judges bowed. The counselors bowed. The sheriffs bowed. The lawyers bowed. The chief officials bowed. Everyone was bowing.

Did Shadrach bow? (Hold up sign and lead the children in chanting.) NO! No - no - no! NO!

Did Meshach bow? (Hold up sign and lead the children in chanting.) NO! No - no - no! NO! 

Did Abednego bow? (Hold up sign and lead the children in chanting.) NO! No - no - no! NO! 

When King Nebuchadnezzar found out these three men had disobeyed his orders, he was really, really, really angry. He said, “You WILL bow down and worship my statue. If you don’t, you will be thrown into a fiery furnace.”

The three men knew the governors had bowed - the judges had bowed - the counselors had bowed - the sheriffs had bowed - the lawyers had bowed - the chief officials had bowed. EVERYONE had bowed except them. So, did they decide they should also bow? (Hold up sign and lead children in chanting.) NO! No - no - no! NO! 

The three men said: If you throw us into the fire, our God whom we serve will save us.”

And God did exactly that! When it was all over and the men climbed out of the furnace they didn’t even smell like smoke. There were no burned spots on their bodies. There were no burned spots on their hair. There were not burned spots on their clothing. God had sent an angel to protect them in the fiery furnace.

Even though EVERYONE else was doing the wrong thing, these three men were strong and courageous and did what was right!

Bartimaeus Song

The perfect way to reinforce a Bible story is to have the boys and girls sing about it.   

Children love the rock feel to the song “Bartimaeus” which recounts the story of the blind man whom Jesus healed, after he persistently called out to Him. 

The words of the chorus will play over and over in kid’s minds: “Never, never, never quit – I’m never giving up!”

Listen to a song clip HERE.

Order from Miracle Mud album HERE.

The Picture Bible - Stories in Full Color

The PICTURE BIBLE is such an awesome resource for both home and church!  The stores of the Bible are in full color and comic strip form. 

Just look at this great picture of the Israelites being trapped on both sides by mountains, the sea in front of them and the Egyptians coming behind them!

A great way for kids to visualize what actually happened in the Bible stories.