FROM THE ROYAL COURTS 4

The Federal Executive Council meeting had just been concluded with pleasant reactions from the distinguished individuals present. Over the last quarter, the tourism sector of the nation had improved considerably as a result of efforts made by the Minister of Tourism. However, special praise was reserved for the Minister of Finance who had overseen spectacular improvement in the economy. The inflation rate was single digit, external reserves had doubled in a few months, unemployment was at its lowest in decades and the exchange rate was stable.

After the meeting, while the usual politicking and lobbying was going on, the man of the moment told his Personal Assistant to get the driver. He needed to travel urgently. He needed to get to Jerusalem.

Which Bible character does this man remind you of? No, not Daniel. Try again. Not Mordecai. One more try. Exactly! The Ethiopian Eunuch!

Shall we pray?

Dear Lord, we ask for insight into your word. The Bible says the entrance of your word gives light. So, we ask that you help us to see the things you want us to learn. More importantly, we ask that you help us put these things into action in our lives. Thank you for answering our prayers. For it is in Jesus name we pray. Amen.

THE HEART OF A DISCIPLE – THE ETHIOPIAN EUNUCH

In the space of 13 verses, this unnamed man leaves an imprint in Scriptures. We are introduced to him in Acts 8:27. Prior to his introduction, the word of God was breaking new frontiers among the Gentiles, as persecution led the believers to scatter throughout Judea and Samaria. After the great exploits in Samaria, the angel of the Lord instructed Philip to go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza. To restate it differently, he was told to go to the desert. (Acts 8:26)

In God’s books, there are no coincidences. He is a master planner who is never caught by surprise. I believe that God wanted to ignite revival in Ethiopia, and he had spotted a high-impact vessel to use. The potential of a vessel is not in its position but its willingness. A man can be highly placed in the sight of men but not productive enough for God. What God seeks in a vessel is his heart. Let’s take a trip down memory lane to a time in ancient Israel.

After the Lord rejected King Saul, he instructed Samuel to anoint a successor. When Samuel saw Eliab, he felt this was God’s anointed due to his stature. However, God’s response is one that gives us a glimpse into what God seeks in the lives of those who will represent him in the Royal Courts. “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

Back to the desert. God needed to stir up revival in Ethiopia and so, he searched for a man who could carry the fire of revival. He needed a life that was combustible enough to be ignited. He found one among the leaders. A man of great authority who managed all the treasury of the queen (Acts 8:27).  We would consider four traits that made the Ethiopian Eunuch a trigger for revival and lessons that we can learn from him.

Firstly, we observe he had a hunger for God. Years earlier, the Psalmist had expressed his intense longing for God. “As the deer pants for the waters, so my soul longs after you. My soul thirsts for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?” (Psalm 42:1-2). The Ethiopian eunuch travelled from Ethiopia to Jerusalem to worship. On his return trip to his base, this man was reading Scriptures. Some records state that the distance covered could have been as much as 1500 miles which would have taken several weeks each way. This is equivalent to travelling from Lagos to Kano twice or going from Lagos to Ibadan 15 times!

When God seeks a vessel, he desires a person who wants to know Him. We are faced with a lot of things that contend for our attention. Obligations at home, responsibilities at work and commitments to friends and loved ones are just a few. However, God desires that we set our priorities straight. Speaking in Matthew 6, Jesus instructed us to seek first the kingdom of God. Like the eunuch, we must be intentional about our spiritual growth and we must seek to integrate it into our daily activities.

The second thing we see is his accommodating heart. Have you been to a desert? I have not but I hope to visit one day. The closest I have come to a desert is through pictures and movies. Imagine for a moment, you are the eunuch. You are sitting in your chariot, reading scriptures as you sip from a bowl of high-quality goat milk. Suddenly, a sweaty man runs up to your chariot with dusty feet. What would be your reaction?

For a man with great power, the eunuch was surprisingly accommodating. As we prepare to serve God’s purpose in great places, we must learn not to lose touch of our humanity. We should not become inaccessible or unreachable. For those who occupy lofty positions and those who aspire for these seats, there is the need to relate with people as fellow human beings.

The words of Apostle Paul to the church in Corinth is suitable for this lesson. “For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it.” (1 Corinthians 4:7). As my mother says, aanu la ri gba (It is mercy we have received). Always remember you are a recipient of God’s mercy.

Thirdly, we see that the eunuch was receptive to learning. In contemporary times, the eunuch would be a Minister of Finance. His name would be accompanied with several designations such as FCA, FCCA, FCIB, FCIT and Ph.D. When Philip heard what the eunuch was reading, he asked if he understood what he was reading (Acts 8:30). Some other person would have responded by insulting Philip and saying those magic words, “Do you know who I am?”. This man didn’t do that. He admitted his inadequacies, invited Philip on board and proceeded to listen attentively while asking questions.

As we know more, we discover how ignorant we are; true wisdom understands how little it knows. People who will represent God in various settings should be people given to lifelong learning. The eunuch was an expert in treasury management. He knew his facts and figures. However, he was also wise enough to admit his ignorance and show willingness to learn. A teachable spirit is important for kingdom exploits.

Finally, we observe that the eunuch had a progressive mindset. Beginning from the passage he was reading, Philip preached Jesus to the eunuch. (Acts 8:35) How beautiful! As the chariot travelled through the desert, this man who was on a mission led the eunuch to Christ. I wonder if the servants were also listening. Philip probably spoke about the importance of baptism as a symbolic representation of death to the old life and birth into new life with Christ. So, as they went down the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?” (Acts 8:36). The verses that follow describe Philip’s response and the baptism of the eunuch (verses 37 and 38).

The mindset of the eunuch is our focus. He had learnt about the importance of baptism. So, when he saw an opportunity, he didn’t hesitate. This reminds me of a high-ranking official who was told to go and wash in a river. The initial response of the man who was the commander of the army of the King of Syria was to get angry. “Are not the Abanah and the Pharpar better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean?” (2 Kings 5:9-14). The Ethiopian eunuch was pragmatic in his search for a solution. He could have postponed his baptism to the luxurious baths in the palace, but he didn’t.

Some reports claim that the eunuch was instrumental to the spread of Christianity in Ethiopia. With this mindset, I would not dispute. How does this affect us? I believe we should learn to use the tools at our disposal in the fulfilment of our God-given purpose. We should focus on the possibilities rather than the difficulties. What hinders me from starting my study of the Bible one book at a time? What hinders me from sharing God’s word to my friends on a weekly basis? What hinders me… See here is Facebook. See here is WhatsApp. See here is lockdown. See here are the clothes in my wardrobe that I can do without. What hinders me…?

Conclusion

The Ethiopian Eunuch had the heart of a disciple. He had a/an H.A.R.P:

  • Hunger for God
  • Accommodating Heart
  • Receptive Spirit
  • Progressive Mindset

As God seeks vessels, he is looking for those whose hearts are set on Him. Men and women who thirst for him. He wants people who are accommodating to people of every race, tribe and status. He desires those who are willing to learn. He wants people who are conditioned to seek solutions and progress. Can God count on you?

….

From the Royal Courts continues Monday by God’s grace. Thank you for the prayers and encouragement.

Author: Iremide Akinsola

I am a Christian. I enjoy reading, writing, listening to music and watching football.

4 thoughts on “FROM THE ROYAL COURTS 4”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: