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September 7, 2022
Today’s reading: Acts 19:23-27
The Temple of Diana
We read in Acts 19:23-27:
24 For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines of Diana, brought no small profit to the craftsmen. 25 He called them together with the workers of similar occupation, and said: “Men, you know that we have our prosperity by this trade. 26 Moreover you see and hear that not only at Ephesus, but throughout almost all Asia, this Paul has persuaded and turned away many people, saying that they are not gods which are made with hands. 27 So not only is this trade of ours in danger of falling into disrepute, but also the temple of the great goddess Diana may be despised and her magnificence destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worship.”
The temple of Diana (or Artemis) is regarded today as one of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World. As you can see, this temple is truly massive, spectacular, and popular.
It’s quite striking to see how Christianity affects not just individual lives, but also the economy of a whole society. Because people were becoming followers of Yahshua, temple attendance was down. So, naturally, it will also decrease the income of all the people who rely on the temple.
This tells us something. If only all people who claim to be Christians would practice what they say who they are, a lot of vices and immoral businesses would soon stop.
Next, we see that the worshippers of Diana were actually not concerned about their god. They were only concerned about the money they earned from the temple.
Another lesson we can see here is how people can be so proud of their sins. In Acts 19:34, we read:
34 But when they found out that he was a Jew, all with one voice cried out for about two hours, “Great is Diana of the Ephesians!”
Today, we don’t hear people worshiping Diana anymore. However, we still hear people chanting and parading their works of immorality.
Instead of saying, “Great is Diana of the Ephesians,” you can hear them shouting, “Great is homosexuality,” “Great is abortion,” “Great is adultery,” “Great is pornography,” “Great is sexual promiscuity,” and so on.
Finally, we can see here that no matter how great a pagan temple is, it would still fade away in time. Thankfully, the living and true God doesn’t fade away. Our Eternal God, Yahweh, is greater than any gods. He is not limited by time, space, and matter.
Indeed, we can all say, “Great is Yahweh.”
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