About that time there arose a great disturbance about the Way. A silversmith named Demetrius, who made silver shrines of Artemis, brought in no little business for the craftsmen. He called them together, along with the workmen in related trades, and said: "Men, you know we receive a good income from this business. And you see and hear how this fellow Paul has convinced and led astray large numbers of people here in Ephesus and in practically the whole province of Asia. He says that man-made gods are no gods at all. There is danger not only that our trade will lose its good name, but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis will be discredited, and the goddess herself, who is worshiped throughout the province of Asia and the world, will be robbed of her divine majesty."
Thoughts for Today:In Greek mythology Artemis (also known as Diana), was the goddess of hunting, wilderness and wild animals. She was also a goddess of childbirth, and the protectress of young girls up to the age of marriage. Conversely, she was also thought to be the bringer of sudden death and disease in women and girls. It is therefore no surprise that merchants would do a thriving business in the sale of statues and other trinkets in Ephesus which was the reputed birthplace of Artemis and also held her temple (the seventh wonder of the world).
I find it interesting that the first objection raised against Paul's teaching wasn't for any reason other than sales were down -- and lower sales meant less money for the merchants. It wasn't because they believed Artemis had divine power and would bring forth any serious consequence, it was only because if the trend continued (Paul's ministry) it was going to cost them a lot of money. The merchants were less concerned with the truth of Paul's message, and more concerned with their own pocketbooks and bank accounts. Let this be a lesson to all of us.
Questions to Ponder:Money has a way of plugging our ears so we don't hear truth. Take a long hard look at your own finances -- employment, investments, tithing, hobbies, and expenses -- the source of your income and what you spend it on. If Jesus audited your books right now would He be pleased or disappointed? Are your finances harmoniously lined up with your faith, or have you allowed monetary goals and other desires to influence your decisions? What do you need to change?