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The Road That Leads to Gaza

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Then an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Get up and go south on the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” (This is a desert road.) (Acts 8:26 NET)

When I was 10 years old, my family moved from North Carolina to Virginia for my dad’s work. I was not particularly excited about this move—we lived close to my grandparents and other extended family, I had good friends, and North Carolina was all that I had ever known. But over the years, Virginia became home. Here, I found a great church, community, and my amazing wife! However, in the same way that my younger self was anxious and uneasy about a big move, I am still often overwhelmed and nervous about new opportunities God places in front of me.

Let’s look at Philip in this story. Prior to this verse, he had experienced an incredibly fruitful ministry in Samaria (Acts 8:4-13). Miraculous signs were performed, unclean spirits were cast out, people were healed, and there was “great joy in that city” (Acts 8:6-8). But in the midst of ministry, an angel appeared and told Philip to leave. And not just to leave, but to leave and travel down a desert road! 

This does not make any sense in the human mind. Why would Philip leave a successful ministry to go to a barren place? But Philip’s response to God’s calling was straightforward. Acts 8:27 simply states that “he got up and went.” And soon we see why God directed him down the road to Gaza. As Philip traveled, God placed a eunuch from Ethiopia in his path who was reading a scroll from Isaiah. Philip boldly approached the man and was given an opportunity to explain the text and share the Gospel. The man believed in Jesus and immediately asked to be baptized. So, Philip baptized him in a nearby lake (Acts 8:27-40).

If Philip had stayed in Samaria, he would have missed this God-appointed encounter. But because he obeyed, an influential man came to faith in Jesus and went back home to a place where the Gospel had not yet traveled. What is “the road that leads to Gaza” in your life? What is God calling you to do that doesn’t make sense? Where is He asking you to go in faith? From Philip’s example to us, we can know that when we obey God’s calling, He directs our steps and puts the right people in our path. The most God-glorifying ministry is based on simple daily obedience in faith.

May we be encouraged to live like Philip and go down whatever road God calls us to travel.


Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NET) are from the NET Bible®️ copyright ©️1996, 2019 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. All rights reserved.

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About The Author

Benjamin Brittain

Benjamin is the International Disaster Relief Operations Coordinator at Operation Blessing and has been with OB for one year. During this time, he has traveled to Poland to serve Ukrainian refugees and to Puerto Rico to help with hurricane relief. He enjoys brewing specialty coffee, reading, tennis, and spending time with family and friends.

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