Traveling with God

OPENING PRAYER

Creative God, guide and direct my path today.

 

Read: ACTS 8:26–40

26 Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road—the desert road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” 27 So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of the Kandake (which means “queen of the Ethiopians”). This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, 28 and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the Book of Isaiah the prophet. 29 The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.”

30 Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked.

31 “How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.

32 This is the passage of Scripture the eunuch was reading:

“He was led like a sheep to the slaughter,
and as a lamb before its shearer is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
33 In his humiliation he was deprived of justice.
Who can speak of his descendants?
For his life was taken from the earth.”
34 The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?” 35 Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.

36 As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?” [37] 38 And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. 39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing. 40 Philip, however, appeared at Azotus and traveled about, preaching the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea.

 

Reflect: THINK OF A TIME WHEN YOU HAVE SEEN GOD USE YOU IN SOMEONE ELSE’S LIFE. TAKE A MOMENT TO PRAY FOR THAT PERSON.

In this passage, God appears to be a bit of a micro-manager. The angel of the Lord gives Philip directions for travel (26), the Spirit tells Philip to join a chariot he sees on the road (29) and the Spirit concludes the interview by snatching Philip away again (39). There can be no doubt that God planned the encounter between Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch.
The Ethiopian, for his part, was probably a Gentile who participated in but could never be a full part of Jewish worship because he was a eunuch (see Deut. 23:1). The Roman empire considered the Ethiopian empire “the ends of the earth,” so the
conversion of the Ethiopian eunuch sets the stage for the fulfillment of Jesus’ commission in Acts 1:8. God’s plan is for the Gospel to reach the whole world.
The Ethiopian’s question is clear: he wants to know the identity of the person spoken about in Isaiah 53:7,8 (32,33). The Ethiopian, without realizing it, is inquiring about Jesus. Philip must have been delighted. God had arranged his travel plans so that he could tell this man about Jesus. Traveling with God can
be an adventure in which we live out God’s love for the sake of the whole world.

 

APPLY

Ask God to give you encounters this week with people with whom you can share his love.

 

CLOSING PRAYER

Lord and Master, my life is Yours, I belong to You. Have Your way in my life today.

 

Syndicated via Scripture Union. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
 

Terry Schneider