Then Paul stood in front of the Areopagus and said, “Athenians, I see how extremely religious you are in every way. For as I went through the city and looked carefully at the objects of your worship, I found among them an altar with the inscription ‘To an unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you.” Acts 17:22–23
The Greek plaza or mall was filled with the shrines and altars of gods that the Athenian people worshiped. The many idols on display spoke of a deep need and a deep spiritual hunger in Athens. Paul understood that while the spiritual pursuits of the people of Athens were flailing about, the desire for objects of faith were real. In an attempt to spiritually nourish the people, Paul tried to direct them away from images “formed by the art and imagination of mortals” and toward the living and expansive God who was able to supply their every need.
If you walk through any of our malls or plazas today you will see the many images and idols we worship in the displays at countless outlets and retailers. At first glance, our consumptive appetites might seem sacrilegious, but are really signs of misplaced spiritual desire. We feel a deep emptiness within us, and we are ravenous to fill it. The truth is, only the living and expansive God of the Bible is able to soothe our spiritual ache.
What do you worship?
Lord, because I do not know You as well as I should, I feed my deep spiritual hunger with idols and images that leave me feeling even more empty. I need You to fill my life. I don’t want You to be the “unknown God” to me. I want to know You and be known by You. I want You to come in and complete my life. In Jesus’ name, I pray. AMEN.