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Acts 16:16-40

Big Idea: Rarely does God give us more than the next step in our lives. So we should always be looking for what God is doing around us right now, ready to react and follow his leading at any moment.

Two suggestions for following God’s plan in the day to day

1. Don’t make decisions in frustration…they tend to get you into trouble with unforeseen consequences

  1. Offend others

  2. Unnecessary pain to yourself

  3. Delayed mission

  4. Possible mission failure

2. Continue to look for God’s work around you even after a bad decision, God can still bring good through it

Additional Notes:

  • Acts 16:16 – “spirit that allowed her to predict the future” – literally “spirit python” (πνεῦμα πύθωνα)
    • “Python” is a reference to the soothsaying divinity, originally conceived of as a snake or dragon that inhabited Delphi, which was originally known as Pythia . This spirit was defeated and slain by Apollo. Priestesses at Delphi were called Πυθίαι (Pythiai). This spirit was said to direct women by overpowering them and allowing them to foretell the future—soothsaying (μαντευομένη, manteuomenē), as here – Bock, D. L.
    • In the ancient world, magic and oracles were often combined and were used (1) to protect a person from misfortune, (2) to attack another or issue curses, (3) to win others over, and (4) to secure oracular utterances – Bock, D. L.
  • “The Most High God” – common term used in polytheistic cultures – it may not necessarily designate YAHWEH – even polytheistic religions used this term for pagan gods
    • In non-biblical sources it is used of Zeus
    • Luke uses it more often but it is more rare in the NT (this suggests a Gentile term since Luke is primarily writing to Gentiles)
      • Mark 5:7 (cf. Luke 8:28)- Geresene demoniac
      • Luke 1:32, 35, 76  – Jesus will be called son of the most high God – 3x in the birth narrative
      • Luke 6 – sermon on the mount – if you love your enemies you will be called son of the most high God
      • Acts 7 – Stephen’s speech – in reference to the temple that Solomon built for God
      • Hebrews 7:1 – used of Melchizedek being a “priest of the Most High God”