On Solid Ground

24 A silversmith named Demetrius, who made silver shrines of Artemis, brought in a lot of business for the craftsmen there. 25 He called them together, along with the workers in related trades, and said: “You know, my friends, that we receive a good income from this business. 26 And you see and hear how this fellow Paul has convinced and led astray large numbers of people here in Ephesus and in practically the whole province of Asia. He says that gods made by human hands are no gods at all. 27 There is danger not only that our trade will lose its good name, but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis will be discredited; and the goddess herself, who is worshiped throughout the province of Asia and the world, will be robbed of her divine majesty.”

28 When they heard this, they were furious and began shouting: “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!” 29 Soon the whole city was in an uproar. The people seized Gaius and Aristarchus, Paul’s traveling companions from Macedonia, and all of them rushed into the theater together. 30 Paul wanted to appear before the crowd, but the disciples would not let him. 31 Even some of the officials of the province, friends of Paul, sent him a message begging him not to venture into the theater. Acts 19:24-31

As you read the end of this passage, it looks like the people were upset because the new Believers were worshiping other gods other than Artemis. It was probably simpler than that: money. Christians and their new belief system was threatening the lifestyles and businesses of those who sold goods and idols that were related to their gods. Now the new Believers were threatening their livelihood.

That happens no matter the issue. When advocating for school choice, the teacher’s unions get upset. Why? Their livelihoods will be affected if they have less money to work with.

As another example, on the rare occasion that Congress cuts a program out of a budget, those in that organization scream about the absolute necessity of that program. Why? Their livelihoods are being affected.

Sometimes the things you say and do run 100% contrary to the prevailing principles of the world. People will fight hard against it. If you stand on what you know to be true, you’re doing the right thing. As the Church loses more influence on the culture, you’ll find yourself in the minority more than you’d like. As long as you’re standing on the truth, though, you’re fine.

You’re in Good Hands.

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I am a devotions writer and have been writing this devotional consistently for more than six years.

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