Lessons from the Ethiopian eunuch

Human civilization came with packages of discoveries that were meant to ease hard labour and make life comfortable. One of these was the domestication of horses. Horses to our ancestors was a panacea for transportation problems. It became easy to move from one place to another faster and conveniently, at least by the then standards. Humans went ahead to make chariots and coaches that proved to be paramount not just in normal transportation but in warfare too. The invention of the steam engine diminished the use of chariots and coaches. Scientific inventions would gain traction with each passing time and now we ended up with vehicles, ships, aeroplanes and even rockets to take us to the moon. In warfare, we now boast of aircraft carriers, bombers, fighters, tanks, missiles, submarines, among others.

An extraordinary chariot

Alcestis, the daughter of King Pelias, was as beautiful as a floating snow shower. So dazzling was this Greek girl that countless suitors swarmed her father’s palace for her hand in marriage. Her beauty accounts spread far and beyond. The fact that her father was a famous king of one of the city-states in ancient Greece made it possible for her fame to reverberate across entire Greece. This made King Pelias put in place strict conditions for who would be her daughter’s husband. “No one shall have my daughter until he proves his worthiness as a son-in-law.” Pelias would say.

“If you want her, then you must come for her in a chariot drawn by a lion and a wild boar. If you come in any other way she shall not be your wife.” That is what Pelias would tell every young man who came around. He would then chase him out of his palace as he laughs. How could a mortal tie together a lion and a wild boar together in a chariot?

One of the admirers was king Admetus of Pherae, who happened to have an immortal – Apollo – as a servant. Apollo was forced to serve mortals as a punishment from Zeus. It was this same immortal servant who came to the rescue of King Admetus and helped him get the adoration of his life. How did it happen? Apollo hunted for the fierce beasts from the wild and tied them to a chariot. The perpetually ill-tempered beasts would try to fight each every so often. Apollo whipped them into losing their fierceness: They could fight no more. The chariot was now ready to be driven.

Admetus jumped on it as Apollo sat beside him holding the reins and a whip. King Pelias was shocked to see Admetus riding a chariot drawn by two fierce wild animals. He immediately gave out her daughter to the man who would also participate, together with another Greek mythological character named Jason, in the search for the Golden Fleece.

No ordinary rider

The Book of Acts offers an invaluable account of the Birth of the Church and its initial exploits. The various sublime tales in the book help us understand basic principles for Christian living. 

Acts 8:26-29 narrates a story about Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch. The eunuch was a high ranking official in Ethiopia as he was in charge of Candace’s treasury. Ethiopia was ruled by queens for a long period of time. A queen was known as Kandake. Some Biblical scholars believe Queen Sheba, somewhat a nebulous figure came from Ethiopia.

The eunuch had travelled to Jerusalem to worship. We meet him on the way from Jerusalem. He is sitting on a chariot reading the Book of Isaiah, the prophet. The Scripture indicates that he could not crack what he was reading. Thus Phillip was presented with a golden opportunity to decrypt the message for him.

The eunuch did not hesitate to let Phillip sit beside him on the chariot.

  1. It is better when we recognize the essence of our worship.
  2. Application of what we read is the in-thing.
  3. Love for true worship will always lead us to spirit worship.
  4. We are still learning and God will fill us according to our pangs of hunger. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. 
  5. We cannot be our own physicians. Our Great Physician is God Almighty.
  6. Whatever God has equipped us with is not necessarily for our own consumption.
  7. We should desire the gifts of God – just like Philip. 
  8. God sends people in our lives to help us bridge the gap to our destiny. 

Friends let us not put child locks on our chariots: Someone helpful could be planning to jump on it and guide us.

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