Acts 16:16–24 (ESV)
Paul and Silas in Prison
16 As we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners much gain by fortune-telling. 17 She followed
Paul and us, crying out, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation.” 18 And this she kept doing for many days. Paul, having become greatly annoyed, turned and said to
the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And it came out that very hour.
when her owners saw that their hope of gain was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace before the rulers. 20 And when they had brought them to the magistrates, they said, “These men are
Jews, and they are disturbing our city. 21 They advocate customs that are not lawful for us as Romans to accept or practice.” 22 The crowd joined in attacking them, and the magistrates
tore the garments off them and gave orders to beat them with rods. 23 And when they had inflicted many blows upon them, they threw them into prison, ordering the jailer to keep them safely. 24 Having
received this order, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.
Paul heals a demon-possessed girl, and as a result, he and Silas are beaten and jailed.
Believers who do God’s will, even when striving to help others, can expect mistreatment and abuse from the people and institutions of this world. However, the same name and power that freed this slave girl from demonic captivity deliver us from suffering
to eternal life.
I pray: Heavenly Father, the powers of evil still try to torment us. As we strive to do Your will, deliver us from evil, and assure us that through Christ’s
death and resurrection, the victory over evil is already won. Amen.
Edward A. Engelbrecht, The Lutheran Study Bible (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2009), 1870.