Daily Thought for: 12th November

THE SORCERERS, SIMON AND ELYMAS

Acts 8. 9-24; 13. 6-12

Sorcerers are practitioners of the occult, in sinister touch with the spirit realm. Simon operated in Samaria, Elymas in Cyprus. Each appears at strategic points in the advance of the gospel, seeking to thwart its onward march. Satan always tries to keep his kingdom intact, and bitterly resists attacks on it by Christ’s servants. 

With Simon, Satan used infiltration. Simon was a god-like figure in Samaria, wielding immense influence by his magical powers. His place was threatened when Philip came with the gospel and many Samaritans were converted. Simon professed conversion, too, and was baptised. He was astounded at the signs and wonders performed by Philip which put his own trickery into the shade. When he saw the apostles able to bestow the Holy Spirit on the Samaritans with prayer and the laying on of hands, he offered them money, seeking to buy that power for himself. That revealed his true character, as Peter clearly discerned. He thought that the power of the Spirit was only a more potent force than the demonic ones he had used before. He wanted to build up his prestige and increase his income. Simon represents the commercialisation of religion, a tragic blemish on the history of the church. 

With Elymas, Satan used the tactic of opposition. He was an apostate Jew and a false prophet. He had influence over the Roman proconsul of Cyprus. When the governor wished to hear the word of God from Barnabas and Paul, Elymas sprung into action, to turn him from the faith. Satan hates the shining of the light of truth, and uses every means to keep people in darkness. One chief way he does this is by false teaching. Paul exposed Elymas as a tool of Satan and pronounced on him God’s sentence of physical blindness for a time; that took immediate effect. The proconsul was astonished by this dramatic sign of the truth of the Lord’s teaching and believed. Elymas represents the corruption of religion and the blinding of man’s eyes by religious error. The devil uses the same tactics still. 

 

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