Posts Tagged ‘Lydia’

Verses 14-15: “Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple form the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul. And when she and her household were baptized, she begged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” So she persuaded us.”

A study in contrast here. According to the Holman New Testament Commentary on Acts, page 271, “the first convert in Europe was a Jewish worshiper of God, a Gentile who worshiped with the Jewish women by the river. Lydia was not only a Gentile and a proselyte, but also a businesswoman.” Lydia was a seller of purple. My footnotes in my Holman Bible state that royal purple cloth had important uses in the Roman Empire, and she was probably a prominent woman in the society there. She worshiped with the Jewish women there, and God opened her heart to the Gospel through the words Paul spoke. After she and her household were baptized, she invited the missionaries to stay at her house. Through all of what I’ve read and learned, I’m struck by Lydia’s quiet, sincere, and humble conversion. We know from later Scripture that she played a role in supporting Paul’s mission through the Philippian church.

Now, I said contrast to start this devotion. In the next few verses, we also see a “certain slave girl with a spirit of divination”. She, too, recognized Paul and his group as “servants of the Most High God.” However, it was not her saying this, but that demon possessing her (remember, even the demons knew who Jesus was, and they trembled). Paul cast out that spirit, not wanting the distraction probably. We’ll see the consequences of this in the next devotion.

Two women: one who was sincere and earnest in coming to know God, and one who was nothing more than a pawn of a demon possession and used by her masters to make them money. We live in a society today where “out loud and proud” seems to clamor for attention. But don’t let all the shouting and ruckus distract you from what you should hear…the gospel of Christ.

Have a blessed day in the Lord!

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