Paul decided to leave Ephesus to go to Macedonia and Achaia before returning to Jerusalem. Many people in Ephesus and Asia believed in the Lord. However, the silversmith named Demetrius, who made silver shrines of Diana or Artemis, was threatened by the spread of Christianity because of his business, and he stirred a riot against Paul in the city. The goddess Diana or Artemis was the prominent idol that many people in Asia worshipped, and their main temple or shrine was in Ephesus. Demetrius accused Paul of persuading many people that goddess Diana and other idols they worshipped were not gods but made of hands. Many Ephesians believed that the goddess Diana fell from heaven to bless them with prosperity. So, the mobs seized Gaius and Aristarchus, Paul's travel companions, to the amphitheater to judge them. They didn't find Paul, but Paul wanted to go to the amphitheater to confront the mobs, but the other believers did not let him go.
The riot stopped when the mayor stepped in and told the crowd that Paul and the believers did not do anything wrong against the temple of Diana. So if Demetrius and his fellow silversmiths had a case against Paul, they must bring charges against him according to the law of Rome. Else, Rome could come against them for inciting a riot. When the crowd heard the mayor, they all dispersed. (Acts 19:21-41). One of the lessons that we learned from this event is that idol worshippers will always protect their gods, but our God does not need protection, but our God protects us. Every idol in this world is made up of people's imagination, so they carved the image of their idols according to what they thought of them. Normally, their idols represent the gods they can control and provide for their happiness and prosperity. However, idols do not have the power to save.
God commanded us these words, "You must not have any other god but me. You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations of those who reject me. But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love me and obey my commands" (Exodus 20:3-6).
Ask yourself these questions for application: (Think through these questions carefully and meditate on them while answering them, and let the Spirit of God speaks to you). What does God say about idols? Do I have idols in my life? Why is it important to protect my heart from idols?
Write down all the worries you face today and lift them up to God.
Father in Heaven, You are the True and Living God. You said there is no other God apart from You (Isaiah 45:5). You created the universe and everything in it. You created me for your honor and glory. Thank you for opening my eyes to understand this truth. Please protect my heart and mind against idols; I will only bow down and worship You alone. In your name Jesus, I pray. Amen.