Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him as he saw that the city was full of idols. – Acts 17:16
Paul’s spirit was provoked. He was stimulated, irritated, when he saw that the city was full of idols. At the time, Athens had thousands of statues, most of them representing their gods. In fact, there were more idols in Athens than in all of the rest of Greece combined. Where human learning most flourished, idolatry abounded.
These statues were beautiful, but Paul was not impressed with the artistry. The idolatry of it all glared at him. And his heart’s desire was to turn the people from idols and to Christ.
When we look around our cities, what do we see? We may not see statues explicitly devoted to personal gods, but indeed we see signs of idolatry everywhere, whether that idol is sex, or money, or autonomy, or whatever. And when we see these idols abound, how do we feel? Are we provoked to indignation and compassion and love and a desire to turn people from idols and to the Savior?
Perhaps we have become desensitized to the plight of the human race around us. May our spirits be provoked, for their good, and for His glory.
God, provoke our spirits for Your people!