Summary: Help for seekers
"Help for Hungry Hearts"
Acts 8:26 "And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert.
27 And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship,
28 Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet.
I. The hunger of the Eunuch
a. He had position, power, and possessions -- He was the chamberlain of the female ruler of the old kingdom of Nubia. The title Candace is the same as pharaoh to the Egyptians or Caesar to the Romans.
John Piper summed up our problem well with his statement, 'The weakness of our hunger for God is not because he is unsavory, but because we "keep ourselves stuffed with other things"'
b. He was a pilgrim who made great sacrifices -- journey from Ethiopia to Jerusalem, that is from modern day Sudan (Nubia) this would have been a trip of 1131 miles one way by land. (Khartoum to Jerusalem)
There are two kinds of proselyte:
1. Ger tzedek (righteous proselytes, proselytes of righteousness, religious proselyte, devout proselyte)
2. Ger toshav (resident proselyte, proselytes of the gate, limited proselyte, half-proselyte)
A righteous proselyte was a Gentile who had converted to Judaism, was bound to all the doctrines and precepts of the Jewish economy, and was considered a full member of the Jewish people. They were to be circumcised and immersed in a mikvah (ceremonial bath) should they wish to eat of the Passover sacrifice.
A gate proselyte was a "resident alien" who lived in the Land of Israel and followed some of the customs. They were not required to be circumcised nor to comply with the whole of the Torah. They were bound only to conform to the seven precepts of Noah, the Noahide Laws: do not worship idols, do not blaspheme God's name, do not murder, do not commit immoral sexual acts, do not steal, do not tear the limb from a living animal, and do not fail to establish courts of justice.
c. He was pining for something that would satisfy the hunger he had in his soul.
Much, if not most, of the social turmoil of our culture is due to a hunger for peace, which is sought for in all the wrong places. According to Ronald Hutchcraft, the Director of Youth for Christ in New York and New Jersey, in the next thirty minutes-
57 kids will run away from home.
29 children will attempt suicide.
22 girls under 19 years of age will receive an abortion.
14 teenage girls will give birth to an illegitimate baby.
685 teens will use some form of narcotic.
These tragic statistics reveal that we are a nation in perpetual war.
Matthew 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
II. The help for the Eunuch
a. The scene
Acts 8:26 And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert.
Acts 8:29 Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.
b. The seeker
This man was most likely reading aloud in Greek from the Septuagint in Isaiah 53:7 The eunuch had followed what light he had and had made this long pilgrimage to Jerusalem but even in the midst of all the symbols of the old faith he found no answers, only more questions. Little did he know that God had seen the hunger in his heart and had prepared a man to bring a life giving message to him.
As one commentary points out, "Jesus sees every man, no matter where he is: in the dark places of his sin and shame, in his home and work and play, in his seeking to know the truth. Jesus sees everything about a man, but there is one person in particular whom he sees. He sees the man who is seeking Him" (POSB-WS).
c. The Savior
What is it that fills this void in all of us; that satisfies the deepest longings of our hearts?
Acts 8:35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.
Dr. S.M. Lockridge was the Pastor of Calvary Baptist Church, San Diego CA from 1953 - 1993. He entered heaven in 2000. He is well-known for a passage out of his sermon titled "He's My King":
"He's enduringly strong, He's entirely sincere, He's eternally steadfast. He's immortally graceful. He's imperially powerful. He's impartially merciful. He's God's Son. He's a sinner's savior. He's the centerpiece of civilization. He stands alone in Himself. He's unparalleled. He's unprecedented. He's supreme. He's preeminent. He's the loftiest idea in literature. He's the highest idea in philosophy. He's the fundamental truth in theology. He's the miracle of the age. He's the only one able to supply all of our needs simultaneously. He supplies strength for the weak. He's available for the tempted and the tried. He sympathizes and He saves. He guards and He guides. He heals the sick, He cleans the lepers. He forgives sinners, He discharges debtors, He delivers captives, He defends the feeble, He blesses the young, He serves the unfortunate, He regards the aged, He rewards the diligent, He beautifies the meek. Do you know Him?