Knowing the ‘unknown God’: Acts 17 (29 July 2020)

Bible Society's Daily Reflections follow the M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, designed for those who want to read the whole Bible in one year. Each reflection focuses on one of its four daily chapters. Darllenwch rhain yn Gymraeg.



Lord, open my ears to hear what you have to say to me; open my heart to love your word, and open my mind to understand your truth.


Daily reflection: Acts 17

In Acts 17, Paul travels to Athens and while in the Aeropagus he notices a dedication 'To an Unknown God'. What he then proclaims to his hearers is that the God he knows is a personal one, who wasn’t made by human hands. 

Giving honour to an unknown god is motivated by a sense of detached duty – the people put it there to insure themselves against the wrath of a god whose identity they did not know. In contrast, Paul says that we are God’s children, with access to the intimacy and trust that children have with their parents. Paul makes the point that since we are God’s children, we should expect that we reflect our creator rather than that he could be something that human hands could have made.

However, we too can sometimes feel like we are going through the motions in order to please a God we don’t really know rather than having a relationship with him. Sometimes we simply go to church and follow a routine without really spending time with God. Alternatively, it’s possible that we can sometimes confuse our father God with a god who is made in our own image. This happens when we rely too much on our own ideas of God or on our own values which we think God should have too. By reading Scripture we can spend time intentionally getting to know God as he reveals himself.



Dear God, thank you for making yourself known to us and wanting to have a relationship with us. Help me to draw close to you and discover more about you as I grow in faith.

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