Daily Word

Pulling up stakes | Acts 19:21-27

21 Afterward Paul felt compelled by the Spirit[d] to go over to Macedonia and Achaia before going to Jerusalem. “And after that,” he said, “I must go on to Rome!” 22 He sent his two assistants, Timothy and Erastus, ahead to Macedonia while he stayed awhile longer in the province of Asia.

23 About that time, serious trouble developed in Ephesus concerning the Way. 24 It began with Demetrius, a silversmith who had a large business manufacturing silver shrines of the Greek goddess Artemis.[e] He kept many craftsmen busy. 25 He called them together, along with others employed in similar trades, and addressed them as follows:

“Gentlemen, you know that our wealth comes from this business. 26 But as you have seen and heard, this man Paul has persuaded many people that handmade gods aren’t really gods at all. And he’s done this not only here in Ephesus but throughout the entire province! 27 Of course, I’m not just talking about the loss of public respect for our business. I’m also concerned that the temple of the great goddess Artemis will lose its influence and that Artemis—this magnificent goddess worshiped throughout the province of Asia and all around the world—will be robbed of her great prestige!”

Acts 19:21-27 (NLT) 中文

3rd Missionary trip

Paul is on his 3rd missionary journey to visit his church plants and “strengthen all the disciples”. He’s now in Ephesus after correcting the belief of some disciples outside of town ,then sharing in the synagogue for 3 months, getting frustrated and setting up shop for 2 years in a school where he taught daily. Great miracles were happening in Jesus’ name. In the last post (link below), some Jewish traveling exorcists found out the hard way about using that Name. News spread far and wide.

Pulling up stakes

After 2-3 years, Paul decides to pull up his stakes and take off for Macedonia and Achaia (other side of the Aegean Sea), then head back to Jerusalem and finally, hopefully, to the capital of the Roman empire, Rome. He sends his emissaries, Timothy and Erastus,  ahead to prepare the way. 

Trouble brewing

As Paul executes these plans, trouble starts brewing. This time it’s not the jealous Jews who persecute him, but the local businessmen. And they are clearly businessmen before followers of their god Artemis! The first reason to get Paul out is … money! Only after that were they, at least in speech, concerned about their god.

But notice the irony in their statement. They refer to Artemis as the great god with an influential temple. They fear, “Artemis…will be robbed of her great prestige!” (v27) If their god is great, how could mortal man affect them?


  • Aren’t you glad that our God is God! “For the earth will be filled With the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, As the waters cover the sea.” Habakkuk 2:14 And, “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me?” (Jeremiah 32:27) Or regarding Jesus, Revelation 21:23 “And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb.
  • We talked recently about transition in missions. We need to be ready for the Lord to uproot us and put us in another place. One key, other than flexibility, is to grow wherever we’re planted. We don’t know how long we’ll be there, so start growing.
Bedouin tent setup in Abu Dhabi dessert. Image from rhitents.com *

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