Peter and John visit the mission field in Samaria, impart the Holy Spirit, and rebuke Simon the (former) magician. “Now when they had testified and spoken the word of the Lord, they returned to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel to many villages of the Samaritans”(Acts 8:25). As the gospel continues to spread in this area, Philip is called away to a place where no people are. “Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, ‘Rise and go toward the south to the road that goes from Jerusalem to Gaza.’ This is a desert place”(Acts 8:26). Surely it must seem odd to Philip to abandon a fruitful work and venture into the desert.
Yet Philip obeys the angel and encounters a chariot, probably attended by a number of servants. “And there was an Ethiopian, a eunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure. He had come to Jerusalem to worship and was returning, seated in his chariot, and he was reading the prophet Isaiah”(Acts 8:27-28). The man is clearly a trusted official, a dedicated servant of Jehovah, and a passionate Bible student. Philip is told only one more thing: “Go over and join this chariot”(Acts 8:29). No further instructions are given in the record; God seems to assume that Philip will know what to do when he speaks to the man. God points him in the right direction and the gospel does the rest.
“Go over and join this chariot.” Luke says explicitly what we often only assume in our own lives—that chance encounters are not really chance. God is at work, bringing people in need to those who can teach and help them. We may not be told which “chariots” to join or which people to pursue, but this passage opens our eyes to the possibility that each person we encounter and each conversation we have has God behind it.
This message was sent to: from
Fairview Park church of Christ, 11820 Fairview Road, Little Rock, AR 72212
If you no longer wish to receive this newsletter click to unsubscribe. Modify your Subscription