“And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us,” (Acts 17:26–27, ESV)
Oh wow! There is so much amazing stuff in these verses. Paul was on the Areopagus in Athens which was the main hangout for the religious and ruling class of Athens. He had an opportunity to speak to a highly influential group, so his words had to have meaning and power.
In this place, where there were statues of gods and other deities that the city worshipped, Paul saw something which told him exactly who these people where. They wanted to cover all the religious bases. They wanted to find something or someone, like all of us, on which to base their lives.
Paul’s Big Moment!
Paul understood he needed to share the most important message that he could to these people who were deeply religious but needed to find the one, true God!.
So he explained his God in the simplest way.
- God made everything: “And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth.”
- God is in control of everyone’s life: “having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place.”
- God’s goal is to point people to himself: “that they should seek God.”
- God wants everyone to find him: “in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him.”
- God is waiting and ready for us to find him: “Yet he is actually not far from each one of us.”
Isn’t that simple and clear? He followed these words up with a very clear definition of being a true follower of God, “In him, we live and move and have our being.” (Acts 17:28)
So,Paul, at this most incredible opportunity to share his God with an enormous influential group, in a hugely prominent place, said these words and gave the simplest definition – because of who the true God is, because of what he has done, and because he is waiting for us to seek so we can live, move, and have our being in HIM! Amen.