I’m reading Acts 8:9-13:
But there was a man named Simon, who had previously practiced magic in the city and amazed the people of Samaria, saying that he himself was somebody great. They all paid attention to him, from the least to the greatest, saying, “This man is the power of God that is called Great.” And they paid attention to him because for a long time he had amazed them with his magic. But when they believed Philip as he preached good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Even Simon himself believed, and after being baptized he continued with Philip. And seeing signs and great miracles performed, he was amazed. (Acts 8:9-13 ESV)
David Blaine is one of the most amazing magicians of our day. For years, we’ve watched the ABC specials of not only his street magic but also the death-defying feats he takes on, like standing on a pole for days, being buried alive and much more.
We have to admit some, if not many, of the things we witness from him leaves us with mouth wide open in amazement. He’s even gotten to the point of well-known celebrities inviting him into their homes to perform his talents.
David Blaine is the Simon of today. Simon had the attention of a whole city. Everyone knew about him. Everyone sought him. And please believe he was getting paid for this. I think the only advantage Blaine has over Simon is that in our era, with one camera and a national network backing you, your influence goes from a city to the world in a matter of seconds.
But here’s what caught me. The one who had a city in the palms in his hands not only had his show stolen, but he himself was amazed at the works of God. He didn’t see these men of God as rivals that he could easily figure out a new trick to win the heart of the people again. He recognized these men as having a power that was much greater than his own. The bible says later on that he was so amazed that he offered them money to learn their “tricks”. This request was met with a stern rebuke from Peter.
This world offers a lot. It offers riches, fame and glory. But reading this scripture, you realize that all these things pale in comparison with the Creator and His power. What Simon didn’t understand was that the power these men were under was not one they learned, but one from above. It was one from the source of all power. All the people who amaze us today whether it’s through magic or whatever talent or quality or knowledge they may have, all that will never compare to that of God.
For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.” Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. (1 Corinthians 1:19-21 ESV)
For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. (1 Corinthians 1:25 ESV)