How often have we read something so many times that we glance over some of the hidden treasures?
I know I’ve done that numerous times and never once had I thought on digging deeper to see some wonderful gems and pearls until someone else points it out. The same is with some of the real basic Bible stories. That’s right, I said Bible stories. I had gotten so used to listening to and reading about Moses, Joseph, Adam and Eve, the Creation, the fall of man, David, and even Noah’s flood to even stop to think about theabout the other books in the Bible and especially the New Testament.
Little did I realize, Eeven when I studied Biblical history throughout my home school junior high and high school education did I didn’t even catch or think about those Old Testament stories in connection with some of my favorite stories in Acts. That was, until this past Sunday, that when I was shown the connection by my pastor.
Let’s take a look:
In Genesis 3, the chapter tells the very familiar story of the fall of man with Adam, Eve, and the serpent in the Garden of Eden. But God doesn’t just leave a judgement without giving us a promise as we see in verse 15, And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel (KJV). Genesis 6-9 tells the events from the beginning, duration, and afterward of the world wide flood. Which brings us up to Genesis 10 and the separation of Noah’s three sons; Ham, Shem, and Japheth. It also tells us the names of the children of each son.
Sounds familiar right? Of course! But how is it related to Acts? Let me explain the connection.
Acts 8:26-27 starts the story of the Ethiopian eunuch, And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert. And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship,…..
Acts 10 tells the story of Cornelius the centurion and his conversion. A familiar, but not so familiar story in the New Testament, one that kinda keeps me wanting to read it over and over again not only because of the Roman’s conversion but because of Peter’s vision and his adamancy of not eating anything Jewishly unclean even after the Easter story as we see in verses 14-15: But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean. And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed. That call not thou common.
Now let’s go back one chapter and look at the story of Saul of Tarsus. Until this point, the last time we saw Saul was during the martyrdom of Stephen in chapters 7-8. He has gone from hearing Stephen’s defence before the council, holding robes and condoning Stephen’s death, to persecuting the church as we see in the beginning of chapter 9. But how do the two stories connect?
They only connect by the hand of God. You see, after the flood comes the story of the Tower of Babel in which, as a result of man trying to reach Him on our own sinful terms, God had caused confusion by creating different languages. So, because of their different languages, they were scattered across the earth, every man unto his speech. (Gen11:1-10) In that, the children of Japheth settled in Europe, Shem in Asia, and Ham in Africa. Which leads us back to Acts 8-10
Acts 8. Ethiopian Eunuch was from Africa. Sons of Ham
Acts 9. Saul of Tarsus and the Damascus Road. Sons of Shem
Acts 10. Cornelius the Roman Centurion. Sons of Japheth.
By the Tower of Babel, Noah’s sons and their descendants were scattered. By the gospel of Jesus Christ were they brought together again in unity. Unity under Christ.
Isn’t it beautiful?