Last Monday, the African nation of Liba was struck by a devastating flood. It is reported that about 5,300 people have been killed and 10,000 more are currently missing. Those among the survivors must have had to think very quickly and leave most of their possessions behind. If you were in their shoes, would there be some things you might try to grab at the last minute? A change of clothes, family pictures, or a precious heirloom? Perhaps, nothing seemed valuable enough to risk your life for. When your life is on the line, suddenly the essentials become more obvious.
When Paul came to Athens, he noticed an altar dedicated “To the Unknown God.” Athens had many gods; one for each natural phenomenon. Paul revealed to the Athenians that, unknowingly, they worshipped the one true God. Paul says He is “…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” (NKJV Acts 17:24). God is unlike any god invented by man because He was not carved, cast, or imagined. He is the designer.
The idols the Greeks worshipped had no power. They had no lasting value. How could people think that something fashioned by man would be worthy of their devotion? Paul states, “we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising” (v. 29b). God is far above our imagination and anything physical. But, we fashion idols out of the physical every day. We place value in the accumulation of possessions, wealth, and notoriety. We look to social media for self-worth and approval.
We are not only physical beings. We have an eternal soul. With the current state of the world, now is the time to start worrying about the things that really matter. There is a God who loves you and created you with the desire to discover Him (v. 27-28). Leave your idols behind and cling to the one true God. “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” (v. 31).
When the Athenians heard Paul speak of the resurrection, some mocked him and some procrastinated, but some believed. The believers joined Paul, but the others were left behind. They couldn’t let go of their idols. What is holding you back from following Christ? Do you realize that we are not guaranteed tomorrow? If you are not in Christ, then your soul is in danger. What idols are you clinging to when the time to seek shelter is at hand? Choose this day to live for Christ.