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Daily Reading: 2 Kings 17:1-18:12 ESV, Acts 20:1-38 ESV, Psalm 148:1-14 ESV, Proverbs 18:6-7 ESV

Daily Verse: “After the uproar ceased, Paul sent for the disciples, and after encouraging them, he said farewell and departed for Macedonia.” (Acts 20:1 ESV)

THORUBOS (2351): “A disturbance. A noise, uproar, tumult.”[i]

Noisy uproar.

Paul spent two years in Ephesus on his third mission trip sharing the gospel.  Silversmiths who made idols of the goddess Diana sold them at the temple.  The riot started because they thought Paul and his disciples would hurt their lucrative business. 

The town clerk quieted the crowd by pointing out Paul’s message didn’t blaspheme their goddess nor disrespect her.  If Demetrius and the other artisans had a problem, they needed to take it up with the courts and stop the rioting, or the Romans would get involved.  No one wanted to face their wrath.

False gods.

One can only imagine how watching Diana’s worshiper’s riot impacted the disciples.  Preaching the gospel to people with hardened hearts can discourage anyone.  

Worshipping false gods happens all the time.  In our world, we might not worship Diana, but some may.  Anything can become an idol, relationships, sports, appearance, all things we can worship more than God.  Caught up in worldly things, people miss Jesus because He’s not of this world.

Repeatedly in Paul’s writings, he wrestles with the same challenges we do.  And yet, we find him always encouraging his fellow disciples and followers of Jesus.  The name of the false gods may change, but the mission never does, sharing Jesus with a fallen world.

Ask God to calm the uproar in your world.  Encourage your fellow believers, helping them continue their journey.  Recognize people will worship false gods, but you have the opportunity to introduce them to Jesus, the one true God.

[i] Strong, J., & Strong, J. (2010). The New Strong’s expanded exhaustive concordance of the Bible. Greek Dictionary of the New Testament (p. 117) Thomas Nelson

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