Acts 14:16-17 “In the generations gone by He permitted all the nations to go their own ways; and yet He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good and gave you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.”
God created man in His image and it didn’t take long for man to turn from Him, being deceived in the Garden. But He never left his creatures alone. The Old Testament is a monument to the untiring repetitive calling for His people to return to the blessings of fellowship with their Creator. But continually turning away to their own devices they ran as far away as they could. And on an Earth this large they had plenty of places to hide.
But as Luke states in Acts 10:35 “in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him”, meaning that God’s grace calls to man wherever on the globe that individual might be. The creature is never left alone. And if in God’s grace he is called to search for Him, He will be found by him. God’s own creation assists in this calling, with the blessings of rain, food, and shelter, and all of the things man calls good in his life, proving that He is there and is not silent.
Paul declares that God’s testimony was never very far from any man “because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse” as he wrote in Romans 1:19-20.
Paul also tells the philosophers and inquiring minds in Athens the same message, that God “made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and exist”, Acts 17:26-28. So it isn’t like only those the citizens of western civilization have the opportunity or ability to come to God. It is ingrained in every man to seek for Him, though by far the majority suppress this with alarming success.
Indeed God permitted man to reject Him if that was what he desired. But He never stopped beckoning him to return. He used nature itself as a testimony, and ultimately He came down to Earth to our level, in the person of Jesus Christ, to do the ultimate call to return, from the raised cross and the empty tomb.
Listen to His still voice, your heart can hear Him. “Cease striving and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10
[Scriptures taken from the New American Standard Bible © 1995]