Paul and Silas

One day in Philippi, as Paul and Silas were walking to the outdoor place of prayer, a slave girl started calling out to them:  “These men are slaves of the Most High God, who proclaim to you a way of salvation.”  This continued to happen for a few days.

Luke, in his narration of the Book of Acts, said the slave girl had a “spirit of divination”.  (Please feel free to interpret the psychology and the biology of the girl’s issue as you wish.)  Luke also said she made a lot of money for her “owners” through this extraordinary power.

Eventually, Paul cast the “spirit of divination” out of the girl.  The girl was worth much less to her “owners” sane than she was when she was “possessed”, so the “owners” complained to the authorities, and Paul and Silas found themselves in the slammer.

Interestingly, as long as Paul and the others were content to discuss matters of spirituality at the place of prayer, no one bothered them.  The minute they intervened to help a vulnerable person (and disrupted a profitably dodgy moneymaking scheme in the process), the response of Philippian officialdom was (in the words of the punchline of an old joke): “Now you’ve stopped preaching and started meddling.”

Rev Bob Faser