When her owners realized that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to face the authorities. They brought them before the magistrates and said, “These men are Jews, and are throwing our city into an uproar by advocating customs unlawful for us Romans to accept or practice.” Acts 16:19-21
By casting out the demon which possessed the slave girl, Paul and Silas have angered her owners, taking away their easy money-making opportunity. We often find that when we turn to God or help others to do so, those with impure motives are threatened by our changed hearts. No one who follows Christ can be angry when someone is healed.
Evil always reacts when good is successful, as we see in this passage. The charge laid against Paul and Silas is “throwing the city into an uproar by advocating unlawful customs”. There is a difference between chaos and honest change – evil thrives where there is no order, but good puts things in order that we may learn and grow, using the gifts we are given for God’s glory.
Jesus warned us that sharing His truth would not be easy, that we would meet opposition as we bring the Good News to a chaotic world. Like unruly children who do only what they want, we must learn obedience to God’s loving order and help others find that freedom as well.
Gracious God, through the power of Your Word all things were created. May we choose to be a part of that creation and let our lives be ordered by obedience to Your will. Amen.