Monday, December 5, 2011

The Treasure of the Kandake

The old flag of Ethiopia

Acts 8:26-36
Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road—the desert road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of the Kandake (which means “queen of the Ethiopians”). This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the Book of Isaiah the prophet. The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.”  Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked. “How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.
This is the passage of Scripture the eunuch was reading:

“He was led like a sheep to the slaughter,
and as a lamb before its shearer is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
In his humiliation he was deprived of justice.
Who can speak of his descendants?
For his life was taken from the earth.”

The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?” Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.
As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?” And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing.

One Mans Walk
Philip learned to listen to the Holy Spirit when He spoke.  The Holy Spirit told Philip to "go", and Philip was in the right place at the right time to change the future of a nation. 

"Go south to the road—the desert road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza"
"Go to that chariot and stay near it"

Tradition has it that the old monarchy of Ethiopia had its roots in the union of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba.
A look at the old Ethiopian flag, reveals the lion of Judah (as you would expect from King Solomon's influence) but interestingly holding the cross of Christ.  Philip's obedience that day to the Holy Spirit's simple request, changed Ethiopia forever.  The true treasure entrusted to the Ethiopian eunuch, was Christ. 
When we say "yes" to God's Spirit, we change the world. 
~ Chris