A “Chance” Encounter
Continuing with our look at the life of Philip we remember that God had taken Philip from a very successful ministry in the city of Samaria and asked him to go to the road that connected Jerusalem to Gaza. We talked last time about how it is up to God to determine the radius and relevance of our reach. That’s not up to us. It’s up to God. Well, now we read the beginning of what happened on that road. This is found in Acts chapter 8: 26 Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, “Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is desert. 27 So he arose and went. And behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasury, and had come to Jerusalem to worship, 28 was returning. And sitting in his chariot, he was reading Isaiah the prophet. 29 Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go near and overtake this chariot.” 30 So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?” 31 And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he asked Philip to come up and sit with him. 32 The place in the Scripture which he read was this: “He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; And as a lamb before its shearer is silent, So He opened not His mouth. 33 In His humiliation His justice was taken away, And who will declare His generation? For His life is taken from the earth.” 34 So the eunuch answered Philip and said, “I ask you, of whom does the prophet say this, of himself or of some other man?” 35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him.
Let that sink in for a minute. Philip “just happened” to run into this man on the road who “just happened” to be reading from the prophet Isaiah and it “just happened” that in the entire writing of Isaiah the man was reading a portion which spoke about Jesus? All of that “just happened” because God “just happens” to be in charge!!! This is amazing how God orchestrated the situation. But what does it mean to you and me? It means that nothing “just happens” in my life or your life that God has not brought to pass. It means that an amazing, loving God is watching everything you and I do and He has a marvelous plan for our lives. It means that God desires to use you and me in fantastic and incredible ways if we, like Philip, make ourselves available to God for His work.
There are no “chance” encounters. Nothing ever “just happens” by fate or fortune or luck or chance. God is in control. He is aware and active and you and I, if we choose, have the amazing privilege of being involved in His activity!