“While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was deeply distressed to see that the city was full of idols.” Acts 17:16
I’ll be preaching on Acts 17 this week, and while our passage starts with verse 22, I can’t help but think about this verse that really starts the passage. Paul will address the Athenians and try to persuade them as best he can of the good news of salvation given through Jesus. But it starts with this distress at the idols. I think of the Acropolis full of ruins of the temples to gods made of stone. Why would this distress Paul so much? I think it comes from a love for people and desire that they would know the truth of God’s love and salvation. Here they are following the dead end path of worshipping gods that aren’t gods at all when they could know the God who raised Jesus from the dead and have a loving relationship with their creator. I wonder if we share Paul’s distress for those who don’t know God today? Are we motivated to share the good news and appeal to our family and friends to turn away from false idols and turn to the God who loves them? Oh, that all people would know their creator and experience His love. May our love for people and our love for God motivate all that we do.