Greetings again my Brethren. Okay let us continue with our series on the Oracles of God as we look at the Diversity of Divine Communication.  Last month we started a new section of diversity of circumstances we find ourselves in and looked at how God can speak to us at a prayer meeting. So this month we will look at a wonderful making place in God. A place very few folks want to visit because of the pain and suffering it embodies, but a making place in God never the less, a dungeon.  In Lamentations Jeremiah writes,   “Mine enemies chased me sore, like a bird, without cause. 53 They have cut off my life in the dungeon, and cast a stone upon me. 54 Waters flowed over mine head; then I said, I am cut off.”  (Lamentations 3:52-54) What a making place in God. Do you see the imagery?  Can you feel the torture?  WOW, “they have cut off my life in the dungeon.”  Have you ever felt like God has cut off your life and left you in a dungeon? To be honest I know I have at times.  Not much rejoicing and singing to the LORD in a dungeon, but that is the very place God wants us to sing praises to Him.  You know it is easy praising God in the good times, but in the pit, in the dungeon when no one can see us cry and  complain except for the smithers and torturers.  God wants us to be able to praise Him at all times.  Job praised God when he said “though He slay me yet I will trust him” (Job 13:15) while in the dungeon. When Queen Esther said, “if I perish I perish” (Esther 4:16) guess where she was?  That is right in a dungeon.  You know a dungeon does not have to be four walls, a rack, the Iron Maiden, or other instruments of torture, oh no.  A dungeon can be in our mind.  A dungeon can be a situation of  our own making. A dungeon can be made up from bad choices we make then continue in those bad choices. There was lady who lived with us for some time.  Her life was a dungeon and the sad thing is she did not want to get free. She was so conditioned to her ungodly life style she actually said she enjoyed living as she does. This is not God’s intention for our lives. But, what happens when we start praising Him in our dungeon?  Now praise is more than singing as we think today of a praise and worship group at church. Actually praise is to SPEAK (not sing) of God’s goodness and the Biblical definition of worship all throughout the Bible is to bow our head to the ground, not much singing with a mouth full of dirt.  In 2 Chronicles, Jehoshaphat knew the secret, “And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground: and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell before the LORD, worshipping the LORD.” (2 Chronicles 20:18) Well, what happened to Jeremiah when he began to praise (speak of God’s goodness) God, “I called upon thy name, O LORD, out of the low dungeon. 56 Thou hast heard my voice: hide not thine ear at my breathing, at my cry. 57 Thou drewest near in the day that I called upon thee: thou saidst, Fear not.” (Lamentation 3:55-57) No singing here, just speaking of God’s goodness.  You know sometimes we can get stuck in a dungeon and it may not be of our making or fault.  Just doing what the LORD wants us to do may end us in a dungeon and maybe our life?  Just ask John Elliott and others who were martyred for following God’s will for their lives.  Did you know this happened to Paul and Silas? In the Book of Acts Paul and Silas, Silas Paul’s partner in the ministry, cast a spirit of divination out of a lady and got her owner and the  town folks angry with them so they were taken before the magistrate, beaten with many stripes, and thrown into prison (another name for a dungeon) for safe keeping.  Luke, writes by the power of the Holy spirit, because he was not there, “Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks. 25 And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. 26 And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed.”  (Acts 16:24-26)  Here, Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises (I am sure it was not like the one line wonders most  churches sing today), but when they realized the situation, got their heart focused on the LORD, and discovered  the only way out of this situation is God they reached out (boy does that sound familiar) to Him. And God moved on their behalf.  Any time we get our heart focused on the LORD He will move.           “And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed.”  Now I like that.  What do you think Paul and Silas thought? Do you think they had a greater measure of faith?  And it says, “every one’s bands were opened.”  Not just Paul and Silas, but even the prisoners who deserved to be in the dungeon.  I guess sometimes when God moves it rains on the just and the unjust.  At the end of the day, the jailer and his family was saved. (Acts 16: 34) A dungeon can lead to great things if we have the right heart focus.         

          More next month as we look at the King’s Palace and other diversities of circumstances. Are you there my friend? In tough situations and circumstances?  Have you heard His voice?  Listen closely and you will.  Written by David Stahl