Seeking to Turn Away from the Faith (Monday, December 25, 2017)

Acts 13:4 So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus.

5 And when they were at Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews: and they had also John to their minister.

6 And when they had gone through the isle unto Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name was Barjesus:

7 Which was with the deputy of the country, Sergius Paulus, a prudent man; who called for Barnabas and Saul, and desired to hear the word of God.

8 But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith.

9 Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him,

10 And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?

11 And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand.

12 Then the deputy, when he saw what was done, believed, being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord.

Introductory Thoughts

Satan is always at odds with God because Satan refuses to place himself in submission to the Almighty. Likewise, there are always two spirits at work: the Holy Ghost and a satanic or false spirit. While the Lord seeks to give life, and joy, and peace, the forces of evil seek to turn men away from the truth. Barnabas and Saul, while on their missionary journey, had the opportunity to declare the word of God to Sergius Paulus, the deputy of the country. As the Holy Ghost worked in the deputy’s heart, another spirit began to work. Elymas the sorcerer withstood them, seeking to turn the deputy from the faith (Acts 13:8). What does this reveal to us? Sorcerers and all other forms of witchcraft are the enemies of all righteousness (Acts 13:10).

Devotional Thoughts

• (For children): Jannes and Jambres were magicians who sought to defeat the effect Moses had upon Pharaoh (2 Timothy 3:8; Exodus 7:10-12, 20-22; Exodus 8:7). Satan is behind all such opposition, deceit, and trickery (John 8:44; Luke 8:11-12). God is against such acts (Deuteronomy 13:1-5).

• (For everyone): What did Saul, also known as Paul, call Elymas the sorcerer (see Acts 13:10)? What does this suggest about those who practice various forms of witchcraft?

• God judged Elymas by blinding him for a season. How did this physical judgment match Elymas’ spiritual condition? Which is worse: to remain physically blind or to remain spiritually blind?

Prayer Thoughts

• Ask God to open your eyes to the wickedness of witchcraft.

• Thank the Lord for giving you the truth.


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