Summary: Often time God tells us to do something and we fail to listen and we fail to obey
Acts 8:26 – 40
Previous to this In Verses 5 - 12 Philip had been involved in the revival at Samaria. It was a huge success. Unclean spirits cast out, sick healed, and multitudes of people were coming to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and being baptised. The revival was big news, as soon as they heard about it in Jerusalem they sent Peter & John to check it out, Samaria was the place to be spiritually. But look what happened next.....
I. Man of God (Verses 26 – 27)
The first thing we see here is an angel comes to speak to Philip. This was important, God wanted there to be no doubt that Philip should go south.
Physically we make decisions everyday. (Married - Major decisions minor decisions, never had a major one)
But, there are other times in our lives that God does want us to go in a specific direction. When we get down to these decisions, we have a choice, we can do God’s will, or we can do something else.
God didn’t want Philip to have any doubt about his decision. What really strikes me though is that Philip didn’t even question God. Verse 27 says He arose and went. He could have said. “Hey God, we’ve got a really big revival going on here. I’ve got preaching to do and people to minister to. I’m really popular here in Samaria, Lord. Why should I just go off to the dessert??”
That wasn’t Philip’s attitude at all. In fact, it was just the opposite. Philip wanted to follow God’s will. That was Philip’s commitment to the Lord.
But hang on a minute; if we look at this more closely we can see that firstly God doesn’t tell Philip why He wants him to go south along the road to Gazza, into the dessert. God just tells him to do it. Secondly the phrase "towards the south" can also be translated "at noon", since the sun is towards the south at noon.
It’s going to be hot and even deadly to journey south through the dessert in the heat of the day. Especially on foot.
Philip doesn’t question God; he doesn’t question God’s timing, or the direction God is sending him in. He simply obeyed. There is a lot to be said for that.
The thing is, often times God doesn’t tell us what the next step is. He just wants us to step out and follow Him. When we get there, when we finish what He tells us to do, then we receive the next step. If God says go, you go!
That’s what Philip was doing; he’d made the decision to follow God’s voice. He was walking south, on a dessert road, in the heat of the day, just waiting for God’s next step. God was about to show Philip what was there.
Verse 27 & 28
So Philip is down here walking in the dessert as instructed, and there just so happens to be another man traveling down the same stretch of road, in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the day. This was an important man, a man of great authority and influence. He was in charge of all the Queens Cash, he had the charge of all her treasure, latter part of verse 27.
Ethiopia in these times was a large and powerful country. It was the outer limits of the known world to the Greeks and Romans. This eunuch was a very important man, most likely second most powerful man in Ethiopia next to the king.
This man was someone that God wanted. Not because of who he was but because of what he was doing. Jeremiah 29:13 says - And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. God wanted this man because he was seeking with all his heart. How do we know he was seeking –
Well first of all it tells us that he was in Jerusalem worshipping, he must have been seeking something to travel 1200 miles to get to the Temple in Jerusalem. Now he was on his way home and he was still seeking - he was reading the scriptures.
He came from the Temple empty handed. He came to Jerusalem seeking God, seeking hope, something to fill the void in his life that the power and influence could not fill.
II. Spirit of God (Verses 29 – 31)
The Holy Spirit is the driving force behind Philip taking off to catch up to this chariot. Here he is on this dessert road awaiting his next instruction. All of a sudden along come this eunuch, the Spirit gives Philip a quick shove and says, "That’s what you’ve been waiting for, now off you go."