Below is the daily Bible reading I am doing for the West Side Church. Please feel free to follow along.
There are some weird things that happen in today’s reading (Acts 19). In one section we see some Jews try their hand at casting out demons. They realize that what seems to work is to do it in the name of Jesus. As they are doing so, they approach one demon who is quick on his feet. He looks them in the eye and says, “Jesus I know, and I know about Paul, but who are you?” At that moment the man possessed by the demon jumps on these men beating them up. Pretty weird!!!
The second occurrence that is weird is following the riot that begins in Ephesus. A group of tradesman are upset that because of Paul’s correct teaching they are loosing business. Now this for them is a legitimate concern. Many are experiencing that today with our current economic problems. So these tradesman get the people stirred up, and after one guy tries to speak, the crowd starts chanting “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!” Now what they chanted was not all that weird. It is weird that they chanted this for TWO hours. Now I have never been a part of chant that had enough stamina to last more than five minutes, let alone being able to imagine one lasting two hours. To top it all off, just a few short verses before we learn that many of the people assembled do not even know why they are there. Pretty weird!!!
So what is my point in all of this? I do not know if I really have one. But it does give us some insight into the story that God gave us in his Word. It is not just about laws and decrees. It is not always about sunshine and roses. It is a story of how God worked through the lives of real men and women, to bring salvation into the world. God used real people and real situations to bring that salvation; the good, the bad, and the ugly. The beauty of it all, is God can use you, a real person living today, to bring that message of salvation to all, no matter how crazy your life is. Pretty weird!!!