We will finish off Acts chapter 19 – verse 23-41
v23 this all happened at around the time those books were burned and the enemy had a setback. (the Way is also linked to truth and life)
v24 Artemis (or as she is called in Latin: Diana) is the name of a Greek goddess.
- Making idols was a lucrative business. The real complaint against the Way was not because of a spiritual objective but rather a financial one.
v25 Demetrius wanted them to understand this financially and not spiritually. This teaches us that at the heart of idolatry is serving ourselves.
v26 what is made by hands is first conceived by human thought.
- Demetrius speaks here in a way to set up a conflict.
v27 Ephesus was a very influential city of learning – learning about the occult. This increased tourism and revenue flowing into Ephesus. Whenever we make spiritual decisions based upon physical profit we are going to be manipulated by the enemy.
v28 the Ephesians used Diana (Artemis) as a means to benefit from her. We need to be careful that our relationship with the Living G-d is not based on what He does for us but should be what changes He makes in our lives so that we can be more pleasing and glorifying to Him.
v29 the whole city was led to confusion – idolatry does that in our lives. These two men would have shared the same message that Paul did.
v30 the disciples feared for Paul’s life.
v31 Paul did not seem afraid to go into the theatre but the voices of wisdom persuaded him that it would be a foolish thing for him to do.
v32 The majority of the people did not think about what they were doing but they just followed the crowd. They were very remote from having a meaningful purpose in their lives.
v33 As a Jew, Alexander represented monotheism and he wanted to give a defense of it before the crowd. (there is conflict between the ways of the world -polytheism-and the revelation that G-d gave the Jewish people -monotheism)
v34 They knew he was going to speak of ONE G-d and they didn’t want to hear it so they drowned him out.
v35 the city clerks/scribes of the town were there at the behest of the Roman empire – concerned mainly with people paying taxes and squashing any uprisings.
- What made Ephesus unique was this thing that fell from the sky (possibly a meteorite). Being blinded by their own pride the Ephesians thought this thing was a message from the gods. They took it as a sign for Ephesus being holy and unique.
v36 this man was thinking of his position but G-d can use anything (even the rationale of the Roman Empire) to bring order.
v38 the scribe encouraged then to take any accusations they had to the courts to be settled in an orderly way.
v40 they could have been charged with insurrection.
v41 G-d can use a multiplicity of means in order to defend His servants.