Acts 13:13-52 God is Working in All of History


Don’t take this kind of narration of history for granted. Let it strike you as strange as it really is. Is this the way you tell stories about what happened? When you tell somebody about the past, do you say, “God did this and God did that and God did that and God did that, etc.”? Do you say that God did virtually everything? Probably not. So Paul didn’t have to either. He chose to preach this way. He consciously chose to narrate history this way. He was making a statement. One that we need to listen to again and again today.
He was saying, There is a great and glorious God. Know him. Reckon with him. Think about him. He was saying that God is really working in history. He is the main Worker in history. He is the explanation for, the meaning of, everything.
We live in an age where this is not believed. Therefore it is a superficial and naïve age. It is superficial and naïve to discuss events and never deal with their most important connections, namely, their connections with God and his purposes. Check yourself on this. Are you as superficially secular and naïve as most people?
Virtually all our communication media and educational enterprises are superficial because they don’t deal with the most important aspects of their subject, namely, their connections with God and his purposes. Almost all news reports are superficial. Almost all history books are superficial. Virtually all public education in America is superficial. Almost all editorial and news commentary is superficial. All this because of the incredible, unimaginable disregard for God—the main Reality in the universe, the explanation behind everything, and without which all understandings are superficial. When the main thing is missing, the thing is superficial whatever it is.
Someone may say, “O that’s just religion. You can’t expect education to be about religion.” It’s not religion. It’s reality. If you want to be a Christian, it means believing that God is the main Actor in world events—that he is the most important Factor in all matters. Paul was talking to unbelievers here. He was evangelizing. And part of what he was trying to do was show them a way of looking at the world that sets the stage for the gospel—namely, that it is God’s world. He made it. He owns it and everyone in it. He works in it. He is guiding it to his appointed goals. Everything without exception, everything has to do with God, and gets its main meaning from God.
This is an urgent plea that you not be conformed to this superficial, God-disregarding age. It doesn’t even know the questions to ask, let alone the answers to give. If you become as superficial as the world, who, pray tell, will bear witness to the centrality of God?

John Piper

Heart Preparation
Read Acts 13:13-52. If God is working through all of history. How does it impact your perception of your day-to-day life to realize that God is working in and through every situation? How does this impact the way you spends your time and the resources that God has entrusted to you?

Posted on: October 24, 2013 - 7:46AM

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