6/22/16 The Oracle At Delphi…And The Other Girl

The following Sabbath, as the group is headed to the riverbank for a prayer meeting, they pass by a priestess of Delphi, muttering to herself as she prepares concoctions for soothsaying.  The priestesses are said to be oracles of the god Apollo and able to tell the future.  They are also known as Pythia, after the snake supposedly killed by Apollo.  The Pythia are revered by many in the city as spirits of wisdom, but the Christians walking by do not share that reverence.  They can feel the evil emanating from the “python spirit” within the priestess and they quicken their steps to get past a bit sooner.  But then, they turn a corner and almost literally run into a young slave girl.  This girl is muttering just like the priestess was, and in an eerily unearthly, deep voice.  Her eyes are unfocused and she moves jerkily, as if someone else is controlling her like a puppet.  Paul and Silas exchange a concerned look, but attempt to pass by.  The girl, however, or the “python spirit” controlling the girl, knows who Paul and Silas are, and so she follows the men, calling out in a loud voice, “These men are servants of the Most High God and they are here to show us the way to be saved from our sins!”  Paul and the rest of the group try to ignore her and continue on, but she does not stop.  In fact, even after they meet at the riverbank to pray, she is there waiting for them, following them home and still calling out the same message.  When the group leaves Lydia’s home the next day, she is there.  Everywhere they go, for several days, the girl follows and shouts out who they are and why they are there.  Finally, Paul has had quite enough of it, and turns to face her.  “In the Name of Jesus, our Messiah, I command you to come out of her!” he cries out, speaking to the spirit possessing the poor girl.  The spirit immediately leaves the girl, and she falls to her knees before Paul, weeping in relief.

 

Acts 16:16-18

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