Read: Acts 8:26-40
So Philip ran to him and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” (v. 3)
Today’s reading shares the testimony of Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch. As you read this passage, I hope you recognized the passage that enabled this Ethiopian official to understand the gospel, believe, be baptized and go on his way rejoicing. The power of Isaiah’s words was undiminished.
In his book, Beyond Death and Dishonor, Michiharu Shinya shares his testimony. While serving as a naval officer in 1942 during World War II, Mr. Shinya’s ship was sunk off Guadalcanal. He was rescued and imprisoned in New Zealand.
To be captured like this was a major disgrace. Mr. Shinya was depressed and despondent. However, something changed when he read an article, “Sorrow in Victory”, written by a Japanese author in the early 1900s after the Russo-Japanese War. The article concluded with Isaiah 40:31: “but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”
These words “burned deep” in his heart. He began searching the Bible for this verse and months later he found it! With the help of a chaplain, he became a Christian, was baptized and grew in faith even as a POW. On returning to Japan, he attended seminary and became a pastor, writer and seminary president. Isaiah still speaks! —Gordon Van Wylen
As you pray, ask God to continue to work in your life.
About the Author
Gordon Van Wylen served as the Dean of the Engineering School at the University of Michigan, and was the President Emeritus of Hope College. Dr. Van Wylen died in 2020.