RIOT FOLLOWS REVIAL
Acts 19:21-41 – April 2, 2023
Acts 19:21-22. After all these things, be aware – 1 Peter 5:8 and John 8:44. … decided in the Spirit or spirit … Proverbs 16:3 and 3:5-6, then Philippians 2:13, Psalm 37:4, and John 15:7. Why Paul wanted to go to Macedonia and Achaia.
Acts 19:23-27. Note here, for the third time in Acts (and the second time in this chapter) the Christian movement is called the Way. The way from John 14:6, Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
The tremendous temple to Diana in Ephesus was regarded as one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.
The Temple of Diana was also a major treasury and bank of the ancient world.
The temple of Diana was famous around the world. The trinkets and idols from it must have been a substantial trade.
The opposition of Demetrius and the other idol makers to Paul’s message showed the great power and effectiveness of the message of forgiveness of sin and salvation had really taken root.
This is how real changes to our culture occurs, via the change in men’s and women’s hearts.
Perhaps there is a lesson for us in today’s cultural wars for Paul was on a campaign to share the Good News of Jesus rather a campaign against false Gods and idols. Although the impact coming to Jesus did do just that.
Acts 19:28-31.Considering Rome’s iron-fisted attitude towards such civil disorder, things were rapidly getting out of hand. It has often happened in the history of Christianity that when God moves among His people and they become very serious about their Christianity, that it affects the livelihood of those who trade in vice or immorality.
Acts 19:32-34. Alexander wanted to make sure that the mob knew that the Jews did not approve of Paul either; but he accomplished nothing before the angry crowd.
The repeated chanting must have sent a chill up the backs of the Christians, including Paul who no doubt could hear it from outside the theater.
For two hours they shouted, “Great is Diana of the Ephesians!” Think of how this echoes to our own time, and see the strangeness of our world. People say today, in words, actions, time or dollars spent:
“Great is my sports team!” or “Great is my political party!” Yet if we say, “Great is the Lord Jesus Christ” – we are then seen as strange by many people if not most.
Acts 19:35-36. Guzik quotes Pierson here, “This chapter teaches us all a permanent lesson: that when disciples have a true revival, society gets a revolution. When the Spirit moves mightily upon children of God we may look for other mighty movements among unbelievers, and need not be surprised if the devil himself comes down, having great wrath, as though he knew that his time were short.”
Acts 19:37-41. God used the city clerk to calm the mob and end the immediate threat to Paul and the other Christians. God had preserved His work, and His people, again. The word assembly here is the Greek word ekklesia, the same word used for “church.” It was a non-religious term used to describe a gathering or association of people.
Bottom Line: What are we to make of all of this? I believe it is as in Proverbs 3:5-6, Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding and in all your ways submit to Him and He will direct your paths.