Saturday, August 18, 2018
“Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you” (Acts 17:22,23 KJV).
Why is there rampant spiritual ignorance today?
The Greek word rendered “too superstitious” here is quite striking—“deisidaimonesterous” (“fearing more devils than others”). As Paul entered Athens, “his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry” (verse 16). He observed idols and shrines everywhere! The Athenians were afraid of this god, that goddess, this deity, that idol. One particular altar caught his attention—the one with the caption, “TO THE UNKNOWN GOD.” It was this God, the God of the Bible, whom he had come to preach to the darkened pagans of Athens!
Why did they entertain such absurd ideas? How were they not worshipping Israel’s God with spiritual enlightenment? The Holy Spirit had already declared through Paul elsewhere in chapter 14: “ And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities [idols] unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein:  Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways.”
Romans chapter 1 describes this party: “ Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.  For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:  Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.  Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,  And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.”
Now the situation in Athens becomes clearer….