(Acts 10:34, 35)
Despite Israel’s mistakes, God did not leave the people in other nations without a witness. Those who were not privileged to receive God’s written revelation received divine messages through the pages of natural revelation (Rom. 1:20). God’s book of nature contains enough information to direct a person to Him.
God has also instilled a measure of spiritual desire in every human being. According to Paul, those who sense God’s indwelling Spirit will engage in a quest to find Him (Acts 17:27). So many people sense an emptiness in their lives that nothing this world offers-fame, power, money, sex-can ultimately fulfill. At its heart, this was the message of the book of Ecclesiastes. This emptiness, this dissatisfaction, often leads people in a quest for something beyond, for something that transcends everyday existence. They are drawn to revealed truth in a desire to quell the longings and emptiness of their souls.
Whether God’s will is revealed through written documents or nature, the person who receives it has the responsibility to live it. Truth is truth, regardless of the vehicle that delivers it, and those who suppress the truth will experience the wrath of God (Rom. 1:18). Consequently, although many people may not have received the Bible or the Ten Commandments, God still holds them accountable for the portions of truth that they have gleaned. Ultimately, everyone will be judged, and the standard of judgment will be law: either the law God expressly revealed through His prophet Moses, or, for those who are ignorant of the written law-the law of conscience, which has been developed by listening to God’s voice in nature.
What great disappointments have you faced that have helped you see just how untrustworthy and unsatisfactory the things of this world really can be? How can you learn from these disappointments about what truly matters?