‘My ears had heard of you, but now my eyes have seen you.’ Job 42:5
A great many people think that they can hear the voice of God by listening to the most sensible and beautiful thoughts that come from their own heart. In the Bible, we read that often the opposite is true. God told Abraham: ‘Take your son and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering’ (Genesis 22:2). But was this not murder? How could this have been the voice of God?
Essentially, it is the same in today’s passage of scripture. The whole of Samaria had accepted the word of God, and Philip preached the gospel of the kingdom there. The newly converted needed to be looked after, and they could not miss Philip at all, especially since the apostles had returned to Jerusalem… But an angel of the Lord told Philip: ‘Go south to the road—the desert road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.’ Why should Philip, who was so busy in Samaria, go to this lonely desert road? This was irrational. So, we would conclude, this could not have been the voice of God.
But, fortunately, Philip did not view his own most beautiful thoughts as the will of God. He had learned to understand the voice of God in stillness. He was prepared to obey at all times, even when he did not understand.
Many of us would like, for once, to hear the voice of God. How many say: ‘I never heard a voice from heaven…’ No wonder: If we are not even prepared to do what God says in His Word, how could we ever be prepared to do what a voice from heaven would order us to?
But because Philip had learned to obey the word of God, to obey the Lord Himself, therefore it could happen that the Ethiopian eunuch went on his way rejoicing.