The Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, “Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious; For as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an alter with this inscription:
TO THE UNKNOWN GOD.
Therefore, the One whom you worship, Him I proclaim to you: “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. Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things. And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on the face of the earth, and has determined their pre-appointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, 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;
‘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.’
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. Truly these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, 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.”
“I even found an altar with this inscription: TO THE UNKNOWN GOD.”
I figure I see some of ourselves in the ancient wise men, for if we were to give in fully to the temptation of idolatry, we would find ourselves eventually raising a tribute to what we could not see and know. Deep inside of us we know and realize we could not know everything, and we know we are flawed and lacking, so much so that we would reach to the ‘unknown’ in reverence and worship.
“God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth,”
God is Lord of heaven and earth, and it follows that He created, He made the world AND everything in it; it may have been implied but Paul specified it, emphasized it anyway – ‘He made the world AND everything in it’; Why? I think a big reason in in what He says next:
“(God) does not dwell in temples made with hands.”
What I’m getting from this is that the Creator, who is Lord of Heaven and Earth, who made the world and everything in it, including us, our hands, and the temples we make; Creator could not be made to dwell in our creation. Or said in another way, Creator could not be made to dwell in creation’s creation. He made us. We could not, we simply cannot make Him.
“Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things.”
He made us. He’s not the One who needs us. We’re the ones who need Him. We didn’t give ourselves our life, nor were we responsible for our breath and we weren’t the full and complete source of all things we need and want. He gave us life, breath; He gave it ALL to us. He’s the reason we exist, and not the other way around.
One could go far, trusting in his own logic and his own intelligence, his own power and perceptions and perks – all to proclaim and even convince many that we were the ones who came up with the concept of God. But it is our prayer that such people would come to the realization and the stark revelation of their finite nature and thinking (with as little collateral damage and loss as possible). We pray that they – and we, for as long as we exist in this realm there remains that which would stubbornly try to allude us to thinking more of ourselves and less of God – We pray that all of us would stumble upon the unknown much sooner than later, for all of us to see and know and continue to behold the ‘unknown’ God, who made us.
“He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on the face of the earth,”
Paul has mentioned here that we all, diverse as we may be insomuch as we are made parts of nations; we all were made from one blood, made to dwell ‘on the face of the earth’, and nowhere else; Elon Musk’s mission to Mars, I suppose, is bound for, or is at the least, most likely to fail.
We’re brought back to remembering (and appreciating) that God ‘made the earth and everything on it,’ just as He has made all the other planets and systems, and everything in them, as well. Through all this we realize and recognize, indeed, we have been made to dwell on the face of this earth.
“(He) has determined their pre-appointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings,”
At this point, let us review what we have so far. Based on this scripture we can say the following of our God:
(1) That even if we intentionally ignore Him, we would eventually encounter Him, even coming up with altars ‘to the unknown God’, alluding to Him. There is something beyond our senses that we see beyond what we do see; Romans 1:20 does say, ‘…since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead…’
And considering that verse we do not merely see God in creation, but we are also able to comprehend, to understand ‘His eternal power’.
(2) He is THE Creator, and we are HIS creation, and not the other way around. He contains us, but we could not contain Him. There is nothing about us that is beyond Him; He is the One present beyond time and space, and we ourselves are creations bound within created time and space.
And as He has made us, so He has made the world, and in His wisdom, He has foreseen the nations that would be born out of one blood; in His power He has created the world ‘and everything in it’ just so we are born in the pre-appointed times and within specific boundaries and coordinates.
God is our Visible, Detailed Creator.
Such attention to detail, indeed! But there is intention to His being so meticulous:
“…so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him,”
The more cynical of us could say that we came up with the concept of religion; rather, we made God for our own ends. And sure, we’ve seen that play out, but what we read here is that we were made and born at the specific time and place for us to seek Him; In the hopes that even if we so much as grope for Him, we would find Him.
He went through so much detail in creating the world and all that is in it, making us at an appointed time and place, all so we would, as creations, seek out our Creator.
It’s as if to say our reason for being is to eventually find our Creator.
“He is not far from each one of us; ‘For in Him we live and move and have our being,’ “
Here’s one of my favorite verses. We don’t have to try too hard to be close to Him, much less find Him, for, see, when we move, we move in Him; When we live, we live in Him; and as we have our being, we have our being in His world and everything in it, where His attributes, one of which being His eternal power, is always on display.
God is our all-powerful Creator who is wise in watching each and every detail of His creation. He is not only visible and detailed, but He is certainly PRESENT to us.
“…as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’ 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.”
We behold creation and we are reminded of and pointed towards seeing, recognizing, seeking and finding God. But know that this it not the same as calling creation God; as we have discussed earlier, Creation simply cannot contain its Creator. And in writing this, oh, what a realization – that this ‘Unknown God’ was the One who actually, literally made everything else that is known, that we would know Him – that we would see His glory, and His goodness, and be led to repentance.
“God… commands all men everywhere to repent, 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.”
God is our all powerful, eternally wise Creator who is not only visible, not only ever so detailed but absolutely present in all of His creation; It is His will for none to perish but for all to come to repentance; Just as He made us in an appointed time, so He has appointed a time, a day of judgment in righteousness; Which, I’m led to believe, is a judgment held and executed with and under the basis of righteousness – the only righteousness that there is, which is Creator’s righteousness – HIS righteousness.
And we are assured, above all things, of His presence, and His righteousness; it has been proven by Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, whom He has also appointed; for just as righteousness is unto eternal life, so the righteous Christ who became sin and died, naturally rose from the dead, to eternal life.
The righteous Christ contained the sin that contained us; We could not contain His righteousness, yet He took sin that was us, and died; But behold, sin stayed dead, but the righteous Christ rose, and we rose with Him.
Beyond every elaboration and all other explanations and forms of proof, it is the resurrection of Jesus Christ that is full proof to us of God being our all-powerful, all-knowing Creator; visible and present, He is righteous, and it is in His will for us to come to repentance.
Also, when we proclaim that Jesus Christ rose from the dead, we are also saying that, again, God is our all-powerful, all-knowing Creator who is visible, present and righteous, willing to move heaven and earth, through the realms of the known and the unknown, both of which He created, if only it would lead us away from death, and into repentance and righteousness unto eternal life.
If we believe in Jesus Christ, we are naturally believing that God is good.
And there we go. I’ve said that we couldn’t talk about love without talking about God, and we couldn’t talk about God without talking about love, and we couldn’t talk about God’s love without talking about Jesus Christ.
I’ve said that we couldn’t talk about God’s glory without talking about His goodness. I’ve said we couldn’t talk about our being made new, without talking about our being reconciled. And we couldn’t talk about any of these things without talking about Jesus Christ.
Now, I’m also saying we can’t talk about God without saying He is good. And we couldn’t talk about goodness separate from God. And surely, through Christ, we have seen the goodness of God.
God IS good. He can’t be anything else.
Now I don’t know how to link this to what I had for the so-called ’10 Commands’ and the ‘Declaration of Faith’, both of which I have decided to confront and convert to our narrative this November… but this here, is certainly a great start.
For now… Thank You, Lord. To The Unknown God – Thank You. You have done so much to make Yourself known.
Until the next post, God bless you.
Leave a Reply