The Ethiopian Eunuch

In Acts 8:25–40, an Ethiopian eunuch was reading a scroll of the prophet Isaiah as he returned from Jerusalem. He had made the dangerous, arduous journey to Jerusalem to worship God even though he knew he would not be allowed to enter the temple. Old Testament law stated that eunuchs were not allowed into the assembly of the Lord. According to Deut 23:1, any male who was a saris or who was injured in the genital region was excluded from entering the tabernacle or temple.

Because he was considered unclean, the Ethiopian eunuch would have to stand outside the gate of the temple and worship from afar. He would hear the sound of the Levitical choir and smell the sacrifices being offered, but he would not be allowed to experience them firsthand. However, Isa 56:3–5 prophecies hope for such men:
Let not the foreigner who has joined himself to the Lord say,
“The Lord will surely separate me from His people.”
Nor let the eunuch say, “Behold, I am a dry tree.”
For thus says the Lord,
“To the eunuchs who keep My sabbaths,
And choose what pleases Me,
And hold fast My covenant,
To them I will give in My house and within My walls a memorial,
And a name better than that of sons and daughters;

I will give them an everlasting name which will not be cut off” (nasb).
As he rode in a chariot, the eunuch read from Isa 53, demonstrating a deep hunger for God. He then encountered Philip, whom God had directed to this deserted road specifically to tell him about Jesus. To the eunuch’s delight, Philip told him that Jesus was the promised one and that He had fulfilled the prophecy of Isa 53. When the road took them by water, the eunuch asked to be baptized immediately. Baptism was the final ceremony a non-Jew would undergo to be allowed to enter the temple to worship God. He rose from the waters with a new joy, knowing that he was longer excluded from the love and presence of God. He was accepted because of the sacrifice of Jesus. He was no longer a “dry tree” but one who had a name better than that of sons and daughters.

love for God should not depend on our circumstances. These men were treated cruelly by others, yet they loved God and sought to please Him. They led significant lives despite experiencing a devastating loss. Our faith in Christ gives us the power to live in joy, victory, and fulfillment, even in life’s valleys.
Chuck Booher

Published by Intentional Faith

Devoted to a Faith that Thinks

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