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There is a Reason for Everything (8 of 26)
Series: The Acts of the Apostles
TEXT: Acts 16:16-40
INTRODUCTION: Last week, we talked about Timothy's call to the ministry, the Macedonian cry for help and Lydia's heart for God.
Tonight, we will discuss the imprisonment of Paul and Silas in the city of Philippi. Let me give you three things:
I. Their Resistance
II. Their Response
III. Their Reward
I. THEIR RESISTANCE (VV. 16-24)
A. Harassment (vv. 16-18)
1. In (vs. 16), we find a woman possessed of an
evil spirit harassing Paul and Silas. The Bible says she was a "soothsayer." A soothsayer was one who divined or foretold the future--much like a palm reader would today, both of whom are phonies. You will notice it says that she "had a spirit of divination." The Greek words are pneuma puthoone, meaning, "spirit of a python." That makes sense, doesn't it? She worked for the devil, and the devil was a serpent. Remember what Eve said to the Lord, "And the woman said "The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat" (Genesis 3:13b).
ILLUS: According to one commentator, "Python, or Pythios, was one of the names of Apollo, a Grecian god. He had a temple built at Delphi. The name Python is said to have been given him because, as soon as he was born, he destroyed with arrows a serpent of that name that had been sent by Juno to persecute Latona; hence, his common name was the Pythian Apollo.1
2. So, then, this woman possessed of an evil sprit,
this python in a woman's clothes, begins to harass Paul and Silas, seeking to hinder their ministry. Now what's interesting is that she pretends to support what they are doing. Look again at (vs. 17), "The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation." Sounds good enough; but was she really on their side? Not at all--look at Paul's response in (vs. 18): "And this did she m ...
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