|"God is the most awesome Artist of all"
© Karen Kyle Ericson, all rights reserved.
16 Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him when he saw that the city was given over to idols. 17 Therefore he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and with the Gentile worshipers, and in the marketplace daily with those who happened to be there. 18 Then certain Epicurean and Stoic philosophers encountered him. And some said, “What does this babbler want to say?”
So Paul's soul was hurt that Athens was full of idols. Ouch! The philosophers called him a babbler. I have my babbling moments at times too. It sounds like they really didn't want to listen to him.
Others said, “He seems to be a proclaimer of foreign gods,” because he preached to them Jesus and the resurrection.
They just couldn't grasp who this, "Jesus," could be. They were ready to dismiss him. But they decided to listen to him instead.
19 And they took him and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, “May we know what this new doctrine is of which you speak? 20 For you are bringing some strange things to our ears. Therefore we want to know what these things mean.” 21 For all the Athenians and the foreigners who were there spent their time in nothing else but either to tell or to hear some new thing.
This is actually pretty great! The Athenians loved to hear new things. So, Paul must've been delighted to tell them.
22 Then Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, “Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious; 23 for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription:
TO THE UNKNOWN GOD.
Paul saw an altar to the "Unknown God." God always provides words when we need them. Sometimes I pray for words to say. Paul was immersed in sharing the gospel. God must've been very pleased with Paul's ability to be flexible and learn about his surroundings before diving in. Here's how he described God.
Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you: 24
God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. 25 Nor is He worshiped with men's hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things. 26 And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, 27 so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; 28 for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring. ’
This is a beautiful summary of our God. I really like verse 26, "He has made from one blood every nation of men." God knew we would fight and not get along. Yet He has never given up on us. Our awesome Father! So Paul went on to explain more.
29 Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man's devising. 30 Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, 31 because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”
That would be, "Jesus." God isn't a statue, or a picture hanging on a wall. I'm sure He loves the color and texture of gold. But to Him, it's just one of His beautiful creations. I imagine God having all sorts of fun designing the sunsets, running through the clouds. He loves color. We're having fall colors now in New Jersey. God's personality might be a surprise to some people.
The Lord is slow to anger and great in power, And will not at all acquit the wicked. The Lord has His way In the whirlwind and in the storm, And the clouds are the dust of His feet.Can't you just imagine two giant feet running through the clouds! I hope He'll take us on a tour in Heaven : ) I read that astronauts have heard sounds like music in outer space. God's not bored, He's got His own Heavenly band.
(Nahum 1:3 NKJV)
32 And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked, while others said, “We will hear you again on this matter.” 33 So Paul departed from among them. 34 However, some men joined him and believed, among them Dionysius the Areopagite, a woman named Damaris, and others with them.
Some of the men and women believed. Paul shared the gospel. The rest is up to the men and women and God.
(Acts 17:16-34 NKJV)
Thank You for all You do that we can't see. You never sleep or forget our needs. I pray for wisdom as we elect a new President in the USA. Help us make good choices and be able to help those in need. It's humbling to know we are all created by You. I pray You will be with Europe as they deal with all the people coming into their countries. Guide them with wisdom and provide their needs.
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
10 Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
13 And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
(Matthew 6:9-13 NKJV)
In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Here's a song from Hillsong, Touch the Sky (link)