Acts 17:16 “While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols.”
Whilst Paul was waiting for his team to catch him up he walked the streets of this amazing city of architecture, history and wisdom. Next to Rome it was the most important city in the Empire, the capital of business and yet through the innumerable temples, shrines and altars Athens was highly immoral. The whole Greek pantheon was there, all the gods of Olympus. Paul absorbed as much as he could, he looked at everything. He identified with it.
John writes, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14). It means to pitch your tent. The world is fallen and sinful but God pitched his tent among the unclean. And so did Paul, he identified with the culture around him. As he did, he became distressed.
A report came out this week in the UK newspaper, The Telegraph:
“The state education system is producing a generation of “amoral” children who fail to understand the difference between right and wrong, according to a leading private school headmaster. Richard Walden, chairman of the Independent Schools Association, says teachers must provide pupils with a “rounded” education to equip them with the moral compass they need for life.”
You may agree or disagree. Your nation may be better than the UK. However, today, you should do what Paul did and walk around your city, town and village (v23) and identify with the culture. Surely you will also copy Paul and become distressed by what you see.