Acts 16:16-18 records an interesting incident of a damsel in distress who was possessed by a spirit of divination and under the influence of men who gained from her soothsaying (fortune telling). She meets Paul, Silas and the others with them and surprisingly follows them, crying and saying as to who they are. Paul being grieved on her account delivers the woman from the bondage she was in, both spiritually and from the powers of men, in the name of Jesus Christ.
There are many things we can learn from this account.
- First, the damsel who was under subjugation by two powers (possession by a spirit of divination and secondly the men who profited from her endeavors) meets other real powers (Paul, Silas, Luke …) who overflowed with the liberating Power that comes in the Name of Jesus Christ.
- Second, the damsel was delivered totally, from all of the powers that captivated her; not only from the spiritual bondage that she was in but also from the powers of men who became exceedingly troubled when their source of gain through her had been lost. In the Name of Jesus is total deliverance and salvation.
- Third, this damsel followed Paul and the other disciples of Jesus Christ.
- Fourth, this damsel gave witness as to who Paul and the other disciples were. What the fortune teller damsel proclaimed about Paul and the other disciples is two fold and amazing. The 30 second introduction of who they were was follows: men who are the servants of the most high God and which shew unto us the way of salvation.
- Fifth, It grieved Paul the bond servant of Jesus Christ to see someone else in distress and slavery (bondage) and he acted.
Point(s) to ponder:
- When people who are under the bondage of this world and its powers meet us, do they follow us because of Christ Jesus who operates in and through our lives?
- What is the witness that is given of you/me by people (or the spirits that possess them) as to who we are? We are to be first known as servants, serving the most high God, by shewing all the way of salvation (which is believing in the Name of Jesus Christ).
- Does it grieve us when we see others who are on their road to hell because they are under the bondage of spiritual forces (principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this world, spiritual wickedness) in the heavenly realms and more importantly if it does grieve us, are we acting on that by shewing them the way of salvation in Jesus Christ?
Acts 16:16-17 (KJV)
16 And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying:
17 The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation.
18 And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.
19 And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone, they caught Paul and Silas, and drew them into the marketplace unto the rulers,
20 And brought them to the magistrates, saying, These men, being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city,
21 And teach customs, which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe, being Romans.
22 And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them.
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