11. June 2024 Acts 2

Text: Acts 19:23-41

Theme: The god they worshiped wasn’t their goddess.

Key verses: “About that time, serious trouble developed in Ephesus concerning the Way. It began with Demetrius, a silversmith who had a large business manufacturing silver shrines of the Greek goddess Artemis. He kept many craftsmen busy. He called them together…and addressed them…’Gentlemen, you know that our wealth comes from this business. But as you have seen and heard, this man Paul has persuaded many people that handmade gods aren’t really gods at all…Of course, I’m not just talking about the loss of public respect for our business. I’m also concerned that the temple of the great goddess Artemis will lose its influence and that Artemis–this magnificent goddess worshiped throughout the province of Asia and all around the world–will be robbed of her great prestige!’ At this their anger boiled, and they began shouting, ‘Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!’ Soon the whole city was filled with confusion. Everyone rushed to the amphitheater…(v. 23-29a). “Inside, the people were all shouting…Everything was in confusion. In fact, most of them didn’t even know why there were there (v. 32). “…they started shouting again and kept it up for about two hours: ‘Great is Artemis of the Ephesians! Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!’ At last the mayor was able to quiet them down enough to speak. ‘Citizens of Ephesus,’ he said. ‘Everyone knows that Ephesus is the official guardian of the temple of the great Artemis, whose image fell down to us from heaven. Since this is an undeniable fact, you should stay calm and not do anything rash. You have brought these men here, but they have stolen nothing from the temple and have not spoken against our goddess.'” (v. 34b-41).

What I believe God said to me: Good morning, Dwayne. I’m glad you’re journaling this morning. But remember, don’t just jump into journaling your thoughts. This is my Word you’re messing with. Don’t dare try to decipher my words apart from my Spirit guiding you. Don’t lean on your own understanding. My ways and thoughts are far above yours. You can do nothing apart from me–including discern the Scriptures. You can’t even pray without me leading your words and thoughts and praying on your behalf. Humble yourself under my mighty hand. Then listen and obey my every word to you. Now for today’s passage: As soon as Demetrius opened his mouth, he revealed the real goddess in his heart, and it wasn’t Artemis. It was his wealth. It was top of his mind and the first thing he said when he opened his mouth: “Our wealth comes from our business.” This was wrong on several levels: First, all good things come from me, not from someone’s business. I am the source of all that is good. But like so many, Demetrius didn’t acknowledge me in his life. He looked to his own business and his own abilities for the lifestyle he had. Second, by leading with wealth, he revealed his heart wasn’t for Artemis. His real god wasn’t their so-called goddess. His god was his wealth and the power and pleasures it brought him. His actual goddess was deceitful and greedy. His goddess could be robbed. His goddess was riotous and confusing. His goddess was ignorant. His goddess was false. Dwayne, how many people today do you think are deceived like Demetrius and those craftsmen were? How many have misplaced priorities and passions? How many trust in their own wealth and power for their security and fulfillment? All of those things are fleeting. Wealth can dry up with one stock market crash or life-shattering decease. Power, success, and security can evaporate overnight with the unexpected receipt of a pink slip at work or a separation or divorce at home. On Christ the solid Rock you must stand. All other ground is sinking sand. You must believe that all other ground is sinking sand. Put your hope in the One True God and Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. Keep your eyes on the prize of heaven and seeing Jesus face to face. Set your affections and longings on Him. Do not be rash to jump to judgement on others like the Ephesians did, some of which didn’t even know why they were in the amphitheater shouting and rebel-rousing for hours. Don’t be foolish like they were. Don’t live your life on a whim, clinging to hope in gods who are no more than weak and worthless idols. Be wise to follow me all the days of your life. Then you shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

What I said to God: Father, thank You for meeting with me today and speaking to my heart. I do choose to follow You today. I choose to worship You as the One True God. You are my Savior and Master and Friend. I can do nothing without You and all things through You. You know of the finances we need to come in this week. You know of the difficult spot we’re in. But we didn’t build this ministry. You did. We aren’t trusting in our own abilities and smarts. We trust in the Lord. You will never leave us or forsake us. Please help me not bow to my little idols today. I have them, but they are defeated in light of Your glory and grace. Help me remain faithful and committed to knowing and serving You all the days of my life.

2 thoughts on “goddess”

  • 1
    Bonnie Bates Wooton on June 11, 2024

    We are studying Acts in Sunday School this quarter. This passage made me think of the protests surrounding Israel. People are in the stadium, railing, and don’t even know why. Gaslighting was alive and well in Paul’s day.

  • 2
    dwaynemoore on June 13, 2024

    Thanks for your comment, Bonnie, and for reading our devo. Interesting comparison with modern Israel. There are certainly similarities. Good observation about gaslighting too.

Comments are closed.