Acts 19.23-41

Whilst Paul is making travel plans (vv.21-22about that time there arose no little disturbance concerning the life proclaimed in Jesus. At the core seems to be a man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines of Artemis, a pagan Greek goddess. His main concern is that he – and others in similar trades (v.25) – will lose out on considerable income if the Way of Jesus is allowed to take hold in Ephesus (v.25b). He also shares his concern for the goddess, but his first thought was for his profit: very telling.

He rouses a large crowd, rushes into town, grabs a couple of Paul’s known associates, and has an extended time of rowdy worship for the goddess, essentially (vv.28-34). Sensibly, the town clerk points out that if their zeal continues they would be rightly convicted of rioting by their Roman masters, and that they’d better calm things down (vv.35-41).

What is so insightful for is is Demetrius’ first thought:

“Men, you know that our prosperity comes from this businessAnd you see and hear that this Paul has persuaded and turned away a large crowd, not only in Ephesus but in practically all of the province of Asia, by saying that gods made by hands are not gods at all.There is danger not only that this business of ours will come into disrepute…”

(Acts 19.25b-27a, NET, emphasis added)

It doesn’t matter if the truth is in there somewhere (gods made by hands are not gods at all) when people are singularly focused on their finances. Yes, money is an inevitable part of life, something we need in many situations. It is, however, not as important as your life itself. Your finance is, as well as many other things, a gift from God (James 1.17) and is to be used as such.

Don’t focus too much on the finance, but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there you heart will be also (Matthew 6.20-21).

Published by James Travis

Pastor of Saar Fellowship in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Married to Robyn and Dad to our two boys.

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