“God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth does not dwell in in temples made with hands.
Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things” (Acts 17.24, 25).
ATHENS WAS THE CAPITAL of ancient Attica and modern Greece, Among the hills in the area were about three thousand statues, mostly dedicated to their idols and deities. It was in this city that Paul, in front of philosophers and unbelievers, presented a defense of faith and the gospel. Acts 17:16-34 tells how he began by talking about the doctrine of God and Creation, and introduced the living God as Creator, Sovereign, and Father. He then continued with the doctrine of humankind, encouraging them to live a life not centered on themselves but on God. Finally, he concluded with the doctrine of the judgment and the resurrection.
Paul met the people where they were, confronted Epicurean philosophy (which argued that the main goal of life was to avoid pain), and spoke to them in their own language. the Greeks did not deny the existence of God, but they thought He was too busy and too far away to take an interest in the daily actions of each created being. In turn, the Stoics taught self-control; the main objective was to train people to reach a place of indifference to both pleasure and pain. Moreover, the Athenians believed in some superior being, an unknown god, who acted on natural laws.
Such was the fervor of the Athenians to please all their deities that there were some altars dedicated «to the unknown god,» in order to not fall into the sin of carelessness or forgetfulness. Then Paul surprises them by saying, «You have an unknown god. That god you worship without knowing is the God I know, praise, and declare to you» (see v. 23). That is why Paul was called the proclaimer of new gods: «With a tact born of divine love, he carefully drew their minds away from heathen deities, by revealing to them the true God, who was to them unknown» (The Acts of the Apostles, p. 241),
What and how much do you know about God? Is God a «just in case» God in your life? In the days of the Protestant Reformation, Luther was walking down the street one day when he came across a person with a gun under his coat. «Why are you walking alone?» the attacker asked incredulously. And Luther said, «I am in the hands of God; He is my refuge and my strength.»
For Paul and Luther, God was not an unknown god; He was a present, active, and close God.
He was a Father and a Friend.
May God be in your life a know and recognized God.
It will make all the difference.
Let us acknowledge Him in all our ways, and let us live today and always in the hands of God.