Acts 17:26-30
Acts 17:26 (KJB)
And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;
Paul continues his discourse concerning that the true God is the one who created the human race and He started with creating Adam and Eve and then they procreated and had children who had children, and so on, until all the world was full of people. Paul states this to show them that no race has any superiority over another because we are all created by God who is no respecter of persons. There is even DNA evidence that all human beings are related coming from a common ancestry which would be Adam and Eve. God has even determined the length of time this earth is going to exist with all its generations plus He has already determined how long it will take to form our bodies and how long we will live. (Psa 139:16 KJV) Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. God had also strategically placed certain people in different countries. He has placed families of people to dwell in those lands to grow and multiply. (Gen 10:25 KJV) And unto Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg; for in his days was the earth divided; and his brother's name was Joktan. The placing of the people’s of the earth in different countries began in the time of Peleg when God divided the earth and made the seven continents. Paul showed that God as the true God of creation whereas Zeus, who was the chief god of the Greeks, was always in a position of standing to either throw a lightning bolt or to wreak destruction. By Paul showing that God was a creator God and not a destroyer as Zeus was, He planted a new seed within his hearers.
Acts 17:27 (KJB)
That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:
God had placed the peoples of the world in specific places so they would be able to serve the Lord wherever He placed them. It was not that they were disallowed from moving to different places. God Himself moved Abraham out of Ur of the Chaldees to Canaan. (Gen 11:31 KJV) And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son's son, and Sarai his daughter in law, his son Abram's wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there. It is quite interesting that Paul uses the term “feel after him” because God is Spirit and you cannot feel spirit as you can flesh. What you have here is an allusion to the fact that man is born in darkness. (Isa 59:9-10 KJV) Therefore is judgment far from us, neither doth justice overtake us: we wait for light, but behold obscurity; for brightness, but we walk in darkness. {10} We grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes: we stumble at noon day as in the night; we are in desolate places as dead men. In Isaiah 59:9-10, the verse speaks of man groping around at noon day which would be the brightest time of the day. What is in view is that man is in spiritual darkness, that is, he is spiritually dead and that deadness causes us to grope as one does at midnight without so much as a candle of light. This is what Paul is getting through to the Athenians that they are in spiritual darkness as if they were groping at midnight. Since God had placed all the people in their specific lands, it would not be hard to find God even in the depths of idolatry. God can save a person who is steeped in idolatry just as the Athenians were. Abraham found God while in a very idolatrous country. Joseph kept his testimony in a very idolatrous land.
Acts 17:28 (KJB)
For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.
God is the author of life and no human being can survive without Him. “For in him we live, and move, and have our being” is a quotation from either Minos or Epimenedes of Crete. Paul does not use it as a quotation but these philosophers would have recognized the saying immediately. Then Paul quotes Aratus from Cilicia “For we are also his offspring.” These words which Paul used were not inspired Scripture when they were quoted in the past but Paul includes them here because they convey the truth of the situation that no one can live without God as the Creator and sustainer of life. In the physical sense of these statements, all human beings are creations and children of God, but to become an eternal child of God, one must become saved through the Lord Jesus Christ. Now that the Holy Spirit placed those sayings in this verse, makes them the inspired word of God at this time.
Acts 17:29 (KJB)
Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device.
Paul makes a very good philosophical argument here for creation. Since people are the offspring of God and created in His image, it would rightly follow that the Godhead cannot be made of any precious metal or any type of stone because none of these objects have life in themselves, never mind having the ability to create life. Life comes from life and that is what Paul is getting across to these philosophers that the true God is a living God who created all living life on this earth, from plants to animals to people. The statues of the false gods of Athens did not move, they did not speak, nor could they because they were fashioned after their own desires. They created gods in their own image. No one has ever seen God and therefore could not know what He looks like. This is why pictures of Jesus must be rejected because they are all made according to what the artist thinks He looked like.
Acts 17:30 (KJB)
And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:
Winked - Overlooked
For millennia there was always idolatry because of the false religions that man had made and the false gods they created with those religions. God had overlooked all of that idolatry, not that He excused it, but He overlooked it to save His people out of it and from it. Since the last days commenced at the cross, God is now warning that the time of idolatry is over and it is time to seek the Lord. God is commanding everyone everywhere to repent. Now those who will repent unto salvation will be the called of God who will be spiritually qualified to hear the Gospel and believe. Then there may be some who will not become saved but will reject idolatry outright. (Psa 135:15-18 KJV) The idols of the heathen are silver and gold, the work of men's hands. {16} They have mouths, but they speak not; eyes have they, but they see not; {17} They have ears, but they hear not; neither is there any breath in their mouths. {18} They that make them are like unto them: so is every one that trusteth in them. The Bible has much to say about the physical idols of false religions and that is they are totally worthless and will lead a person to eternal destruction. (Hab 2:18-19 KJV) What profiteth the graven image that the maker thereof hath graven it; the molten image, and a teacher of lies, that the maker of his work trusteth therein, to make dumb idols? {19} Woe unto him that saith to the wood, Awake; to the dumb stone, Arise, it shall teach! Behold, it is laid over with gold and silver, and there is no breath at all in the midst of it.