“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 southsaying.” (Acts 16:16)
In the days of the early church, fortune telling was evidently a venture that was profitable for those who were involved in the business. The apostle Paul had a vision from a man in Macedonia who asked him to come over to their land to help them. While there, he and Silas were on their way to a place of prayer when they met a slave girl who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune telling.
The girl followed Paul and the others, shouting, “These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation.” When she continued to do this for several days, Paul became so troubled that he turned around and commanded the spirit to come out of her.
When the owners of the slave girl realized that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to face the authorities.
As one reads the account of the spread of the gospel in the early days of the church, it is evident that the apostles faced the authorities on many occasions. The religious leaders continually sought to bring charges against them, but this did not deter them from the mission they were called to do.
The example set for us by those devout men should serve as a standard for us as to what we should do when we face persecution. It is difficult to be a Christian in our day despite the fact that we have a freedom of religion in our land. There are those who criticize us, and ridicule our stand for Christ.
We must strive to be strong in our faith and continue to worship to God’s hourse, read our Bibles and pray. With His help we can persevere.
As the apostles went to prayer,
A young girl met them on the way,
One possessed with a spirit by which she could tell the future.
And the apostle Paul healed her that day.
As we strive to be the witness,
That Christ called us to be,
May study His Word and pray,
And follow Him faithfully.
Dear Lord, Help us to say and do that which is pleasing in your sight. For Chrits’s sake. Amen.