The Fortune-Telling Slave
"Now it happened, as we went to pray, that a certain slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much profit by fortune-telling." Acts 16:16
Divination- noun; meaning; the practice of seeking knowledge of the future or the unknown by supernatural means. It was widely practiced in the ancient Middle East. This practice of attempting supernatural powers to gain knowledge of the future was highly sought after by many. The Old Testament strongly condemns such practices.
"Therefore do not listen to your prophets, your diviners, your dreamers, your soothsayers, or your sorcerers..." (Lev. 27:9)
Paul and Silas had come to preach in Philippi, where they met a fortune teller. The Bible addresses her as a "certain slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination." Luke recognized her wonder as being identical to those of the priestesses of Delphi, meaning she was not seen as merely a lunatic or skillful entertainer, but was indeed possessed of a demonic spirit, giving her extraordinary powers to predict the future, which was strictly forbidden.
"Give no regard to mediums and familiar spirits; do not seek after them, to be defiled by them: I am the Lord your God." (Lev. 19:31)
This young girls masters used and abused her, receiving a lot of money from her fortune-telling, especially by making her answer those with problems and difficulties who were more vulnerable to such deception.
The girl followed Paul and Silas for days, crying out loudly and hindering their ministry. Paul, becoming very annoyed, called out this demon spirit from the girl's body and immediately the spirit came out. In so doing it left her masters without financial gain of her abilities so they had Paul and Silas dragged into the marketplace to be beaten and imprisoned.
The book of Acts does not mention any more about this young girl, but her testimony stands forever to prove that God can bring glory even out of the most harsh and unfair situations. While in prison, Paul and Silas witnessed the power of the living Christ. Not only were they miraculously delivered, but the keeper of the prison and his entire family were saved and baptized.
I love you & He loves you more!
Lord, May the Holy Spirit be our only guide. May we seek You for our future plans. Praise God that You take what can look hopeless in our eyes and turn into miracles so that we can praise You more. In Jesus' name. Amen.