Running to Do God’s Work

Old Testament: 1 Samuel 25 & 26

Poetry: Proverbs 14

*New Testament: Acts 8

Acts is quite possibly my favorite book of the Bible because of its emphasis on theological truths. Acts also shows us the amazing effects that occur when we are following God wholeheartedly and preaching to others sound theology. The book allows us to get an insider look on what the early church looked like and the rapid growth that occurred as the apostles preached the name of Jesus to the Jews in hopes of convincing them to accept him as the Messiah.

The story of Philip and the Ethiopian shows a beautiful example of how God places people in the right place at the right time. In this case, quite literally. God used Philip to come alongside the Ethiopian at the exact moment that his heart was ready to receive the truth.  We see a clear contrast from Simon the sorcerer whose heart was “not right before God”. Simon desired a profit for himself over the truth that God could give. On the other hand, the Ethiopian was reading the Scriptures and seeking to understand it.

The Ethiopian devoted his life to serve the king of Ethiopia by becoming a eunuch so that the king’s throne and family would not be threatened. He was a very high-ranking Ethiopian who was an important official in charge of all the treasury of the queen of the Ethiopians. This is an important piece of information since this high-ranking man, from a different country, made the decision to travel to Jerusalem to visit the temple and worship God. Therefore, he desired and even went out of his way to worship the true God, even though it was a different god than his people worshiped. This may indicate that he had even converted to Judaism. And somewhere along the way he got his hands on a precious copy of the book of Isaiah, which would have been much harder to acquire back then. And as many of us can relate to, he was having a hard time understanding what he was reading. He wanted to know more about the passage and who it was referring to because he could have related to it personally as a eunuch. At this point in the story, Philip listened to God and literally RAN to go do what God wanted him to do. This shows Philip’s heart in doing God’s will wherever God places him.

When it comes to theology, we can see how God took a gentile who feared God and gave him the opportunity to accept Jesus as the Messiah. I love what this says about God. The Ethiopian was not one of God’s chosen people in the definition of nationality. But God saw one of His children struggling to understand His word, so He sent Philip to help reveal the Messianic text of Isaiah the prophet to the Ethiopian so that he could accept the truth of the Messiah. Here we see the beginning of the Gentiles being grafted into the family of God when the Ethiopian accepts the message of Jesus and becomes baptized. This also shows how important the message of Jesus as the Messiah is to God.

-Makayla Railton

Application Points:

The spiritual health of our heart matters. (Be like the Ethiopian, not Simon the sorcerer!)

God desires us to be in His Kingdom and He desires us to help others get there. (Be like Philip!)

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