Wednesday-July 27, 2011
There is nothing worse than having a gift of which other people take advantage, particularly when the gift has the ability to benefit others. So why does Paul order a spirit to come out of a slave girl if the spirit is divine? Even though the slave girl’s outcries about Paul and Silas were true, at the end of the day she was still a slave being taken advantage of. Of course, without the gift she is now of no value to her owners, but perhaps her understanding of Paul and Silas and their ministry will provide an alternative to her living, a way of salvation, and perhaps freedom from the yoke of man’s slavery. Although she is still a slave, without the gift she is now released from the weight of financial responsibility for her owners. I believe the message in this passage helps us understand that the loss of something valuable to us, or our families, while devastating, can actually be gain. If God has allowed something to be taken away it leaves room for something far greater (salvation, reconciliation and freedom from things and people that enslave us) to take its place. Because we are always of greater value to God (Matthew 6:25-34) it leaves room for the Holy Spirit.
Acts 16:16-24 “I order you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And it came out that very hour.