Acts 16:16 And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying:

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.

18 And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.

19 And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone, they caught Paul and Silas, and drew them into the marketplace unto the rulers,

20 And brought them to the magistrates, saying, These men, being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city,

21 And teach customs, which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe, being Romans.

22 And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them.

23 And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely:

24 Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks.

Introductory Thoughts

The love of money is the root of all evil (1 Timothy 6:10). One should take notice that witchcraft, magic, and similar practices are very lucrative industries. Many have foolishly imagined that these things have some redeeming value. However, the world cares most for the temporal profits and not for the ultimate consequences of polluting the minds and hearts of the masses. As Paul and Silas ministered, they were followed by a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination (Acts 16:16). After many days, Paul turned and rebuked the spirit, setting the damsel free (Acts 16:18). Instead of rejoicing in the damsel’s new found peace, her masters incited violence against Paul and Silas.

Devotional Thoughts

• (For children): Preachers are to preach God’s word (2 Timothy 4:2) which is the truth (John 17:17). They are not to preach to make money (Titus 1:7-11; 1 Peter 5:2; 2 Peter 2:1-3). Consider Paul’s example (Acts 20:33-34; 2 Corinthians 11:8-9; 1 Thessalonians 2:9). God took care of him. Paul never charged for helping people.

• (For everyone): How did the love of money affect the response of the damsel’s masters? What was their major concern? How can this be related to similar practices in our day?

• How are witchcraft and similar practices lucrative today? Why would they keep producing such things at the risk of harming the minds and hearts of young and old alike?

Prayer Thoughts

• Ask God to show you the true motives behind witchcraft.

• Ask the Lord to help you repent of any evil associations.