DEVOTIONS AND SERMONS

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Two Eunuchs
 

There were two eunuchs in the bible, both were from Ethiopia and both were eunuchs. Being eunuchs is not much respectable.

Acts 8:26-40
26 Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, "Go south to the road--the desert road--that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza."
27 So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians. This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship,
28 and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the book of Isaiah the prophet.
29 The Spirit told Philip, "Go to that chariot and stay near it."
30 Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. "Do you understand what you are reading?" Philip asked.
31 "How can I," he said, "unless someone explains it to me?" So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.
32 The eunuch was reading this passage of Scripture: "He was led like a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb before the shearer is silent, so he did not open his mouth.
33 In his humiliation he was deprived of justice. Who can speak of his descendants? For his life was taken from the earth."
34 The eunuch asked Philip, "Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?"
35 Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.
36 As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, "Look, here is water. Why shouldn't I be baptized?"
37
38 And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him.
39 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.
40 Philip, however, appeared at Azotus and traveled about, preaching the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea.


Here we hear about the Ethiopian eunuch and about his conversion. Spirit of God sent Philip to reach out to the Ethiopian eunuch; he was the God fearing and God speaking person. He had been to Jerusalem to worship God on his way back he was reading the book of Isaiah 53 and he was stuck in that passage. As he was meditating the scripture that's when Philip reached out to him and he asked him. Do you understand what you are reading? Ethiopian eunuch said please help me I don't know; Philip used that scripture to preach to him. He taught him about Isaiah 53 and whom it talked about. At the end of the study Ethiopian eunuch desides to get baptized.

He stopped the chariot and Philip baptized him. When we read about this Ethiopian eunuch we read it in a positive way. We read about, he was an important official he was in charge of all the treasuries. He was with the Queen of Ethiopia, when we think about this person he is prominent he is high power. He was important he was famous he was rich. He looked like every thing is going well in his life, but he was still seeking for God. But you don't realize in the book of Isiah but some insight I was able to get, what it would have meant to him personally.

Deuteronomy 23:1
No one who has been emasculated by crushing or cutting may enter the assembly of the LORD.

People those who are eunuchs are not allowed entering the assembly of the people of God. No one who has emasculated by crushing or cutting may enter the assembly of God. The bible is very clear that these people are not allowed to enter the assembly of God. They were cut of from the people of God. Imagine the shame of being born that way or made a eunuch.

When he was reading this passage from Isaiah 53:7, He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. Probably eunuch was able to relate to this passage. May be he wasn't born a eunuch, May be he was made to be a eunuch, as he was growing up as a child he must be humiliated. The word humiliation means made low that is what it means in Greek. He can relate very well to this passage, maybe he was put down, must be rejected by his friends, he must have made fun of or laughed at. Mocked ridiculed shut of from other people's life and even considered abnormal from rest of the people. He must have felt I don't have justice. Who will speak of his dependence, how can a eunuch have a descendent? In Old Testament if you have descendent, that means God blesses you.

This man could have gone through so much of thoughts about, does God really love me? Does God care about me, May be when he went to Jerusalem he must have felt shameful. Many of us have gone through something like this in our life. There were times we felt humiliated we are deprived of justice and we don't open our mouth. We are afraid or we don't know what to say. And we feel does God really love me? Ethiopian eunuch was probably feeling that way Isaiah is a big book probably he was reading for long time and stuck in this book thinking who is it talking about. We can learn to understand about God through this passage.

Isaiah 53:1-12
1 Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
3 He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4 Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.
8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away. And who can speak of his descendants? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken.
9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it was the Lord's will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand.
11 After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied ; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.


Probably the Ethiopian could relate to the feelings in this passage, he didn't no whether Isaiah is talking about himself or somebody else. That's when Philip comes and talks to him. Using this passage God is giving hope to the eunuch he clears the doubt that he had all these years.

He felt that some body in this world who faced rejection who faced humiliation who deprived justice who was willing to face it and willing to give hope to every body who is going through. This must have meant so for the eunuch because it healed the wounds as he was growing up. Jesus died on the cross he was wounded, by his wounds we are healed. The only way we can be healed is through Jesus Christ. Ethiopian eunuch was lifted up and raised up to be a big man in the kingdom of Ethiopia. But that didn't heal the wounds of his heart. That didn't save him from all the pains that he went all through in his life. Only when he came to the feet of Jesus he found the forgiveness the hope and a great future. Only in the feet of Jesus we can find hope my dear brothers and sisters, only in the feet of Jesus our wounds can be healed. Men may not understand our pain, our family may not understand.

Even people who are successful in the world may not heal the wound. The only one who can save you, the only one who can heal you is Jesus Christ. Isaiah is also a book of hope. All through the book of Old Testament we understand eunuchs had no place among the people of God.

Isaiah 56:3-5
3 Let no foreigner who has bound himself to the LORD say, "The LORD will surely exclude me from his people." And let not any eunuch complain, "I am only a dry tree."
4 For this is what the LORD says: "To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths, who choose what pleases me and hold fast to my covenant--
5 to them I will give within my temple and its walls a memorial and a name better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that will not be cut off.


We can see God is giving hope to such people. Let not any eunuch complain, "I am only a dry tree." I will not have a descendent. Those eunuchs who keep my commandment who chooses what pleases me, who holds fast to my covenants, to them I will give my temple its walls will be memorial and its name will be better than all the sons and daughter. I will give them an ever-lasting name that will never be cut of. All these time they understood that they would be cut of from the people of God. Now God says, " If you keep the commandment and do what is right, you hold on to the truth, you will not be cut of from Gods people or from heaven."

No matter what back ground you are from, no matter what you have gone through in your life, no matter what sin we have struggled with, no matter what past we are from. God gives us hope He wants us to hold on to Him and in his word, no matter what shameful life we live, no matter what humiliation we face. God is reaching out to you today; He wants you to know that he cares about you. All he expects us to do is to hold on to him, to the truth his word of God and you will find salvation in Jesus Christ. Ethiopian eunuch had no name, but we know one thing that he was saved. One thing he was grateful, one thing may be he went back and preached the word and many people became Christians in Ethiopia. He gives hope to many of us.

Second Eunuch has a name.

Jeremiah 38:1-13
1 Shephatiah son of Mattan, Gedaliah son of Pashhur, Jehucal son of Shelemiah, and Pashhur son of Malkijah heard what Jeremiah was telling all the people when he said,
2 "This is what the LORD says: 'Whoever stays in this city will die by the sword, famine or plague, but whoever goes over to the Babylonians will live. He will escape with his life; he will live.'
3 And this is what the LORD says: 'This city will certainly be handed over to the army of the king of Babylon, who will capture it.'"
4 Then the officials said to the king, "This man should be put to death. He is discouraging the soldiers who are left in this city, as well as all the people, by the things he is saying to them. This man is not seeking the good of these people but their ruin."
5 "He is in your hands," King Zedekiah answered. "The king can do nothing to oppose you."
6 So they took Jeremiah and put him into the cistern of Malkijah, the king's son, which was in the courtyard of the guard. They lowered Jeremiah by ropes into the cistern; it had no water in it, only mud, and Jeremiah sank down into the mud.
7 But Ebed-Melech, a Cushite, an official in the royal palace, heard that they had put Jeremiah into the cistern. While the king was sitting in the Benjamin Gate,
8 Ebed-Melech went out of the palace and said to him,
9 "My lord the king, these men have acted wickedly in all they have done to Jeremiah the prophet. They have thrown him into a cistern, where he will starve to death when there is no longer any bread in the city."
10 Then the king commanded Ebed-Melech the Cushite, "Take thirty men from here with you and lift Jeremiah the prophet out of the cistern before he dies."
11 So Ebed-Melech took the men with him and went to a room under the treasury in the palace. He took some old rags and worn-out clothes from there and let them down with ropes to Jeremiah in the cistern.
12 Ebed-Melech the Cushite said to Jeremiah, "Put these old rags and worn-out clothes under your arms to pad the ropes." Jeremiah did so,
13 and they pulled him up with the ropes and lifted him out of the cistern. And Jeremiah remained in the courtyard of the guard.


This is the time Jeremiah started preaching the word and Jeremiah had lot of people opposing him.

He was calling people to repent and obey the will of God. His message was very hard line and people didn't like the message. And people want to kill the prophet of God. Here Jeremiah was preaching, if you want to be saved you better listen to the word of God. He called the people to repent and leave the country other wise you will be captured and killed. People didn't like his message, why they said this? because his message is discouraging. He is not an encouraging preacher he is discouraging us being very negative. This man is not seeking the good of his people but he is ruining. King said okay what ever you want to do, just do what you want. So they let him die in the cistern by lowing him down on the mud and he started sinking in the mud and he was dying the prophet of God was sinking. It was almost like the enemies are winning but there was one man in the whole kingdom who said this is wrong.

He said people are doing wicked thing to the prophet of God. And it says his name was Ebed-Melech, a Cushite, a Cushite is an Ethiopian and if you read the footnote an official in other word to translate an official is eunuch. He is the one who had courage to stand up against all the people of the kingdom. He went to the king and spoke the truth and said you got to do some thing for the prophet. He was willing to stand up and his life was in risk but he stood up for the prophet. You can see that he was more concerned about Jeremiah than himself and his life. Nobody trusted the word of God but he was the only one who listened to the word of God and trusted the word of God spoken by Jeremiah and obviously he trusted God. Because he spoke with conviction and stood up for what is write, Zedekiah listened to him and Jeremiah was saved because of this one Ethiopian eunuch whose name was Ebed Malech. This was the Ethiopian who saved Jeremiah, we got to be like this man.

We got to fight for what is right, you got to help people to do what is right. V39Gods judgement did come upon the land and the Babylonians came and attached. Zedekiah and the people did not listen to the prophet of God. Zedekiah was captured even though he wanted to escape.

Jeremiah 39:7-8
7 Then he put out Zedekiah's eyes and bound him with bronze shackles to take him to Babylon.
8 The Babylonians set fire to the royal palace and the houses of the people and broke down the walls of Jerusalem.


Then he put out Zedekiah's eyes and bound him with bronze shackles to take him to Babylon. The Babylonians set fire to the royal palace and the houses of the people and broke down the walls of Jerusalem. You see Gods word came true, If only the people listen to Jeremiah the prophet they would have been saved.

Jeremiah 39:15-18
15 While Jeremiah had been confined in the courtyard of the guard, the word of the LORD came to him:
16 "Go and tell Ebed-Melech the Cushite, 'This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: I am about to fulfill my words against this city through disaster, not prosperity. At that time they will be fulfilled before your eyes.
17 But I will rescue you on that day, declares the LORD; you will not be handed over to those you fear.
18 I will save you; you will not fall by the sword but will escape with your life, because you trust in me, declares the LORD.'"


As Zedekiah trusted God and he stood up for what is right and he listened to the prophet of God and he obeyed Gods word, God remembered that. God said that because you trusted me I am going to save you the sword is not going to hit you.

But rest of them they will die because they did not obey the word of god. When you trust Gods word you will trust Gods people. God will remember the good things you do to Gods people. God remembers all the good things you do and God remembers all the bad things you do too. God was pleased because of the good mercy of what Ebed Malech showed to Jeremiah. So often we think, is anybody watching the good I am doing. I am doing so much good I am really trying to do good to the people around me, I am trying to encourage this brother who is struggling. I am trying to help this sister to find God, she is struggling. I am teaching the bible, I feel there is nobody noticing no body is watching. From this passage you can understand that God is noticing us. When you do what is right when you help people. You helped somebody from death that you help somebody to find God, God is going to bless you and save you when you go through tough times in your life.

We got to take help from the people of God from this scripture. When we really trust God we are able to forgive, we are able to do good to people, you are able to love and encourage and be united. When you trust God fear flees from us, Ebed Malech was not fearful even though he had every reason to be fearful. He trusted God and he did not fear people.

Let us look at these two people in the bible and find hope and encouragement. From Ethiopian eunuch we learnt that there is hope in life. Nobody understands you Jesus understand you; nobody appreciates and forgives you, Jesus appreciates and forgives you. In Jeremiah the Ethiopian eunuch understands to do what is right. You be the only one who is doing right even if others are not doing what is right. God will remember that and God will bless you for that.