A new wave of opposition to the gospel taught by Paul erupted as explained in Acts 19:23-41. A silversmith named Demetrius who made silver images of the goddess named Artemis (moon goddess Diana) started a riot because he felt the Way was a threat to their lucrative business. The thought was that once people were saved, they would get rid of their silver images.
In current times, those of the Way continue to be a threat to some. There is the threat to power, money, and influence. Democrats against Republicans, businesses against government agencies, and Muslims against Jews and Christians.
The riot in today’s reading was brought to an end as people discussed their differences and it was explained that grievances must be handled in a legal assembly (v. 39). Isn’t this some good advice for us in today’s world? The gospel message can work well even in a society in which various viewpoints are allowed to be expressed but it must be in a peaceful way.
Sometimes leaders can push into directions that a society does not need to go. They have the attitude that their way is the only way and those that don’t follow exactly their way can hit the highway. They will not listen to the other side because they can make more money by keeping people stirred up. Sometimes greed can cause people to want more and more until they lose what they do have.
This day with You Lord, help us to understand that we can make a great difference in this world because Your Way does not tempt us to judge but reminds us that everyone has tremendous value in Your eyes. Lord … forgive us when our differences cause us to fight against each other until we lose what we did have. Lord, we are thankful that Your Way works best because the objective is to build up people rather than tear them down. Help us today as we keep these thoughts in mind. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.