Todays readings.. 2 Chronicles 28, Daniel 9. Acts 8
What a challenge it is to understand some parts of the Bible – for it is a message God caused to be written and preserved. The question in our title today should sound familiar to most of us. We came across it in Acts ch. 8 where we read that “an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Rise and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza …. And he rose and went. And there was an Ethiopian” who “had come to Jerusalem to worship” [v.26,27] So he evidently believed in the true God.
We are told he was reading part of the prophet Isaiah, “he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.” Philip asks him, “Do you understand what you are reading?” Let us read and absorb the scripture very day in case someone asks us to explain some part of the scriptures that God inspired to be written and preserved. The Ethiopian was puzzling over a person he was reading about in the book of Isaiah who is described as being “like a lamb before its shearer is silent … in his humiliation justice was denied him. Who can describe his generation? For his life is taken away from the earth.” [v.32,33]
He asks Philip, “Does the prophet say this about himself or about someone else?” [v.34]. Philip explains, and “beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus.”
The whole world has now been given the whole of the word of God – all 66 books of it, in just about every language. Remember what Jesus said; “Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required” (Luke 12 v.48)
People in the ancient world were challenged by the faith of Noah in the huge ark he and his sons built over many years! Does the word of God really challenge us? It challenged the world when it was first printed! Let us read some of it every day – and our understanding will grow and – and – like the Eunuch, we will start to think and to ask, “What prevents me from being baptised?” [v.37] And if we are already baptised and have experienced the feeling he did after his baptism in “going on his way rejoicing” [v.39] we are surely finding less and less to rejoice about in much of what surrounds us in our world today. We must read God’s word every day and we will understand what we are reading the more that we read it.