Summary: Only Christ can satisfy the deepest longing of the human heart.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
III. The happiness of the Eunuch
Acts 8:39 And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.
a. The enlightenment the scriptures
Psalms 19:10 More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
Psalms 119:103 How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
Ezekiel 3:3 And he said unto me, Son of man, cause thy belly to eat, and fill thy bowels with this roll that I give thee. Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness.
Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
b. The empowerment by the Spirit
Throughout this entire sequence of events there is the constant working and ministry of the Holy Spirit, guiding, directing, leading. It was the Holy Spirit that directed Philip to the desert and it was the Spirit of God that removed him once the work of salvation was completed in the eunuch’s heart.
c. The enjoyment of salvation
Acts 8:39 “…and he went on his way rejoicing.”
O happy day, that fixed my choice