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Acts 17: 22-34

22 Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: “People of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. 23 For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: to an unknown god. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship—and this is what I am going to proclaim to you.

24 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. 26 From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. 27 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. 28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’

29 “Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by human design and skill.30 In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. 31 For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.”

32 When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some of them sneered, but others said, “We want to hear you again on this subject.” 33 At that, Paul left the Council. 34 Some of the people became followers of Paul and believed. Among them was Dionysius, a member of the Areopagus, also a woman named Damaris, and a number of others.

Cross,Jesus,God,Holy Spirit,Daily Devotions,Worship

Earlier in this passage we see how Paul is distressed by all the idols that the people in Athens are worshipping. One thing in particular that we see the people of Athens worship are their minds. We live in an age where technology has developed rapidly and as such the number of things we can now discover seems endless. So it’s easy for us to be just like the people of Athens, worshipping intellect and new discoveries. The problem is, that in doing so we end up becoming arrogant in our knowledge and constantly dissatisfied in constantly seeking truth that we can’t find.

Hasn’t Science made God irrelevant? If we look at verses 24-25 we are reminded that God created all things and gives life to all things. As we continue on in the passage we read about how God has created everything perfectly and purposely. He has created all things and has a plan for all things. But two things can get in the way of us remembering that. First, our pride. We want to be better than others, know more than others, know more than God. So when we discover or learn about all these scientific discoveries our pride blinds us from acknowledging that it’s the work of God that created all that. The second thing that gets in the way is idolatry. We often try to think of God in ways not revealed in scripture, we think of God and relate to God on our terms. We think, how does God fit into what I know and believe about the universe, instead of, how does what we know about the universe teach us more about God?

God created all things so that in our desires to know more about the universe we learn more about him. He’s given us science not to draw us away from him but to know him better. As we learn more about the complexity of the universe we can stand in awe of the infinite God that has given this to us.

Head: How have the people of Athens tried to view/know God in their own terms and understanding rather than through scripture?

Heart: How does what you know and see in this world help you better understand God?

Hands: In verse 28 we’re reminded that it is through God that we live, move and have our being. How does your life show that you are grateful and dependent on God for the life you have?    

Prayer: Heavenly Father, Thank you that you are a great God that has planned out everything so perfectly. Thank you that you give us the knowledge and the tools to learn so much about the universe. Thank you that your creation reveals so much about the infinite, orderly and perfect God that you are. Help us not to idolise the power that comes with knowledge, but instead through that knowledge continue to grow in awe of you. Amen.

A song to listen to: Praise Him

Natalie Yong- Creek Road Presbyterian Church- Carina

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