Money Money Money Money

This morning I was reading in Acts 16:16-24, the account of Paul and Silas in Philippi. They come across a girl - actually, she seems to find them - who was possessed by a demon that allowed her to predict the future. She was owned by another guy, who exploited her demonic possession for the purpose of earning a little extra spending money.

This voodoo girl begins following Paul and Silas throughout the countryside, saying correct information but making their ministry into a freak show. So, Paul casts the demon out of the girl.

He frees her from the demon, doing her a pretty big favor. The slave-owner wasn't impressed. A great miracle happened right in front of his eyes, but he was so worried about his money disappearing alongside the demon that he couldn't notice what was going on right in front of him.

Instead of being overjoyed that his servant was restored to her right mind, the slave-owner could only focus on his own situation. As a result, he had Paul and Silas flogged, stripped naked, and thrown in a maximum security prison cell.

Perhaps just a bit of an overreaction.

Throughout his ministry Paul confronted a lot of different idols, but none was personally dangerous to him as the idol of money. When he talked about the Unknown God on Mars Hill (Acts 17:16-34), some sneered. But when he confronted the idol of materialism, he normally found himself at death's door (see also Acts 19, especially verse 24).

Some things never change.