Here at Emaus Church we are working through the book of Acts, and as Acts 8:26-40 was being expounded, a supporting text was used that struck me.
We read in Isaiah 56:3-7 :
3 Let not the foreigner who has joined himself to the Lord say, “The Lord will surely separate me from his people”; and let not the eunuch say, “Behold, I am a dry tree.” 4 For thus says the Lord: “To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths, who choose the things that please me and hold fast my covenant, 5 I will give in my house and within my walls a monument and a name better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that shall not be cut off. 6 “And the foreigners who join themselves to the Lord, to minister to him, to love the name of the Lord, and to be his servants, everyone who keeps the Sabbath and does not profane it, and holds fast my covenant— 7 these I will bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer; their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.”
8 The Lord God, who gathers the outcasts of Israel, declares, “I will gather yet others to him besides those already gathered.”
This is great news, for me, a single man, who by society’s standards should have been wed with children by now!
Okay, okay, before I fly off in a fit of exuberant babbling,let me show you why this is such good news for me and for you.
In the bible a eunuch was one of three things (Matthew 19:12):
- A person born with birth defect that left him unable to reproduce
- A person who was surgically made a eunuch
- A person who remained celibate.
In Deuteronomy 23 (Dt 23:1-8) the eunuchs were forbidden in the assembly, but in Isaiah there is cause for a future hope and here in Acts 8:26-40 ; we see that future hope being extended to a foreigner and outcast.
What’s great is that this Eunuch has been extended the gospel of Jesus, and he accepted it. He took the promises of God as his own treasure and (Is 56:3-7):
- A eunuch was now joined to the family of God through faith v.3a
- And given far better promises than sons and daughters v.3b
- And given an everlasting name v.5a
- And will be kept in The Father forever v.5b
- For God’s house shall be a house of prayer for ALL peoples (including the eunuchs) v.7
The above can only come through the gospel of grace, through the death burial and resurrection of Christ. We see in Acts 8 an outcast and a foreigner being folded in by adoption through the gospel of The Lord Jesus Christ.
This is great news! This is great news for the single and celibate (like me), this is great news for the widow, this is great news for the barren, this is great news for the divorced.
If God in His sovereign goodness leaves us unwed and our desire for marriage unmet, there is a greater joy in Christ which is incomparably greater than a few years of marriage.
If God in His sovereign goodness leaves us with the unmet desire for children, fear not, take courage, there is something better to come than sons and daughters.
Perhaps this eunuch was made to feel inferior, less than a man, a “dry tree” and perhaps you have been made to feel like a second class citizen, either by careless jesting or by well intended, but misguided advice or by awkward matchmaking or maybe even just seeing people around you marry and have children.
Know that if you are in Christ Jesus, you are not a second class citizen, you are in the family of God. God has not abandoned you. Even through unmet desires He works for your Good. Be encouraged, God is for you, let us fight for our joy in Christ and let us continue using whatever station in life God has us in, for His glory and for the building up of His church.