Acts 16:16-19 – Most High God

Acts 16:16-19
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,

-Has anybody ever been confused by this section of scripture?  Why would someone demon-possessed point to Paul and Silas as knowing the way of salvation?  It’s important to realize that the area of the world Paul and Silas are visiting is the very seat of pagan mythology.  A Jewish ear or a Christian ear would hear “Most High God,” (El-selyon) and identify that as the one true God of the Bible (Genesis 14:20). But to other cultures who worship many gods that are always ranked by power or prominence, there were many “highest gods”; the title has been attached to Zeus, Isis, and Baal- just to name a few. A pagan hearer might understand the term to refer to whatever deity he or she considered supreme.  This could possibly be part of the reason behind Paul’s rebuke of the woman.  What was true in the time of pagan gods is still very much an issue in our modern culture.  In an age where everyone is worshiping something and “god” means two different things to two different people, Satan doesn’t need to convince us that Jesus isn’t the way; he just needs to convince us that Jesus isn’t the only way.

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