About that time there arose a great disturbance about the Way. Acts 19:23
Nowadays most labor union strikes are conducted peacefully. Those out on a strike realize that gains are made at the conference table, not by engaging in riotous behavior.
Quite different was the strike in Ephesus. After Saint Paul had evangelized the city and had induced many to give up the worship of idols, the business of making idolatrous objects dropped off sharply. This fact prompted Demetrius, a silversmith, to call a meeting of craftsmen who made silver shrines in honor of Artemis. The “sympathy” protest soon degenerated into a first-class riot. The town clerk called the attention of the unruly crowd to peaceful ways in which their differences could be settled.
Without realizing it, many people go out on strike against God. They have a grudge against their Maker. Some refuse to work for Him any longer because they think He has been unfair to them in the way He distributes money and goods to them. So they walk the streets, as it were, with sandwich boards accusing God of being an unfair employer.
Others walk out on God because life out there in the world seems so much more attractive. So they say, “God give us everything we have coming to us, all our back pay, and take our names off the books. We are not going to work for You anymore. We are going to enjoy ourselves.”
The reason why still others go out on a strike against God may be the bitter experience of grief at the loss of property or of a person dear to them. Then resentment sets in. They say, “Why should we continue to serve God if that is the way He treats us? He has taken away our possessions, our livelihood, and all our fringe benefits.”
God invites all striking sinners to gather around the conference table. He says, “Come now, let us reason together” (Isaiah 1:18). He says there is no need to be at odds. His love extends to all. He plays no favorites when He extends equal forgiveness to all. “There is no difference, for all have sinned … [they] are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:22-24).
In Christ Jesus God and sinners get together. The strike is settled.
PRAYER: Lord God, show mercy on those who are at odds with You, and guide them to Your truth. Amen.
(Devotions from "With Jesus Every Day" copyright 1997, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)