A Provoked Spirit
August 10, 2022

Today’s 333 Devotional: “A Provoked Spirit”

Acts 17:16 says, “While Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him when he saw that the city was given over to idols.

Athens was full of temples and altars, and the Athenians far exceeded any other people group in the worship of false gods, and their zeal for religion. To make sure no god was left out of their pantheon of gods, they had erected an altar to a god no one even knew, it was the altar to the unknown god (Acts 17:23).

Petronius, a Roman courtier during the reign of Nero, humorously says, “It was easier to find a god than a man there.”

A person could get their religious fill in Athens, as there was a temple on every street corner, and an altar in the courtyard of every house.

What was taking place is that all these idols and religions were separating humanity from their Creator. The people were so zealous for their religions that they were totally clueless about the one true living God.

And so, Paul’s spirit was provoked, that is, the spirit within Paul was upset, irritated, agitated, and aroused to anger.

Paul’s spirit was stirred up. His soul was troubled, his heart was grieved, his bones ached, and a fire began to well up inside of him that not even Pepcid or Rolaids would relieve.

Paul became so provoked he couldn’t contain himself and began to reason with the inhabitants, with those who knew better, that is, the Jews, but also with anyone who would listen in the marketplace (Acts 17:17).

Today, is our spirit stirred when we see our world giving over to idolatrous worship? Are we upset, irritated, agitated and aroused with holy anger when we see our world reject the God of the Bible for the false gods of materialism, science, environmentalism, pride, power, and prestige?

If the answer is yes, then we need to begin to reason with everyone we meet.

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