Category: Men of the Bible (A th H)


Ish-bosheth was a son of King Saul. His story is discussed in 2 Samuel chapters 2 through 4. David was king in the city of Hebron and over the tribe of Judah. Ish-bosheth was made king over the rest of Israel: “Abner son of Ner, the commander of Saul’s army, had taken Ish-Bosheth son of Saul and brought him over to Mahanaim. He made him king over Gilead, Ashuri and Jezreel, and also over Ephraim, Benjamin and all Israel. Ish-Bosheth son of Saul was forty years old when he became king over Israel, and he reigned two years. The tribe of Judah, however, remained loyal to David” (2 Samuel 2:8–10).

Following a battle at Gibeon between Judah and Israel, Abner chose to join David. Abner was a military leader to Ish-bosheth, who accused Abner of sleeping with his concubine. In his anger over the false charge, Abner vowed to turn the rest of Israel over to David (2 Samuel 3:7–11).

During this time, “Rekab and Baanah, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, set out for the house of Ish-Bosheth, and they arrived there in the heat of the day while he was taking his noonday rest. They went into the inner part of the house as if to get some wheat, and they stabbed him in the stomach” (2 Samuel 4:5–6). The assassins brought the head of Ish-bosheth to David, expecting to receive a reward. Yet David was displeased at their merciless action and had these men killed, their feet and hands cut off, and their bodies hanged beside a pool in Hebron. In contrast, the head of Ish-bosheth was buried in Hebron (2 Samuel 4:12). These events took place after David had ruled at Hebron for about seven and a half years.

The end of Ish-bosheth’s life, though violent, opened the door for David’s rule to expand from Judah to all of Israel. The prophecy of long ago finally came true: David was the king of all Israel (2 Samuel 5:2). “When all the elders of Israel had come to King David at Hebron, the king made a covenant with them at Hebron before the Lord, and they anointed David king over Israel. David was thirty years old when he became king, and he reigned forty years. In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months, and in Jerusalem he reigned over all Israel and Judah thirty-three years” (2 Samuel 5:3–5).

Despite the many violent acts that took place between the people of David’s kingdom and the kingdom of Ish-bosheth, God was at work, preparing the way for His promise to be fulfilled. David ultimately reigned over Israel from Jerusalem. He served as an ancestor to Jesus Christ, the One who will ultimately reign forever.

King David had many wives, according to the Bible, although only eight of them are named. Of the eight, five are mentioned only once. The other three wives figure prominently in the story of King David.

David’s first wife was Michal, the daughter of King Saul. Her story begins in 1 Samuel 18—19. Saul gave Michal to David to marry after David defeated a hundred Philistines. But Saul, always fearful of young David’s popularity with the people, planned to kill his new son-in-law. However, Michal, who loved David, warned him of the plot and helped him escape. Following this, Saul gave Michal to another man. After David became king, Michal was restored as his wife (2 Samuel 3). She later despised David when she saw him dancing before the Lord (2 Samuel 6:14–22). Michal had no children, perhaps in punishment for mocking the servant of the Lord (verse 23).

The story of David’s second wife of note, Abigail, is told in 1 Samuel 25. She was originally the wife of Nabal, an evil man who disrespected David. In his anger, David planned to attack and kill Nabal and all his household. Abigail, a wise and prudent woman, met David as he and his men were approaching. She bowed down to him and convinced him not to seek revenge and cause bloodshed. David recognized that her good judgment was a gift to him from God. Abigail returned to Nabal and told him how close he had come to death. Nabal’s “heart failed him and he became like stone” (verse 37). Ten days later, God struck Nabal and he died, and Abigail then became David’s wife.

The sad story of David’s wife Bathsheba is well known (2 Samuel 11:1–17). She was originally the wife of Uriah the Hittite, a trusted soldier in David’s army. While Uriah was away at war, David saw Bathsheba bathing in her courtyard one night; she was beautiful, and David lusted after her. Even knowing she was another man’s wife, David summoned her to his palace and slept with her. When she found that she was pregnant, she informed David, and the king, rather than repent, added to his sin. David ordered that Uriah be placed on the front lines of the battlefield where he was abandoned by his fellow soldiers and killed by the enemy. Then David married Bathsheba, but their child died shortly after birth. David chronicled his sin and repentance over these evil acts in Psalm 51. David and Bathsheba had four more children (1 Chronicles 3:5). Their son Solomon ruled after his father’s death.

The other five named wives of David were Ahinoam, Maacah, Haggith, Abital, and Eglah (2 Samuel 3:2–5; 1 Chronicles 3:1–3). According to 2 Samuel 5:13, David married more wives in Jerusalem, but how many is unknown.

In the book of Acts, we find a Levite from Cyprus named Joses (Acts 4:36), whom the apostles called Barnabas. That nickname, translated “Son of Encouragement” (Acts 4:36-37) or “Son of Exhortation” was probably given to him because of his inclination to serve others (Acts 4:36-37, 9:27) and his willingness to do whatever church leaders needed (Acts 11:25-31). He is referred to as a “good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith.” Through his ministry, “a great number of people were brought to the Lord” (Acts 11:24). Paul uses Barnabas as an example of one with a proper perspective on money and property. When he sold his land, he brought the proceeds to the apostles and laid it at their feet (Acts 4:36-37).

As the early church began to grow, in spite of Herod’s persecution, Barnabas was called by the Holy Spirit to go with Paul on a missionary journey. Barnabas’ cousin, John Mark, served him and Paul as their assistant (Acts 13:5). During that first missions trip, for an unspecified reason, John Mark left them and did not complete the journey (Acts 13:13). However, Barnabas continued with Paul and was with him when Paul’s ministry was redirected to reaching the Gentiles with the gospel (Acts 13:42-52). The only negative mention of Barnabas in Scripture is in reference to an incident in which Peter’s hypocrisy influenced other Jews (including Barnabas) to shun some Gentiles at dinner (Galatians 2:13).

After that first trip, Paul and Barnabas began planning their next journey. Barnabas wanted to take his cousin, but Paul refused, and a rift grew between them to the point that they parted company (Acts 15:36-41). Barnabas, true to his nickname, took John Mark and spent time discipling him. That ministry was so effective that, years later, Paul specifically asked for John Mark to come to him, as Mark had matured to the point of becoming helpful to Paul in his ministry (2 Timothy 4:11).

Like Barnabas, as Christians we are called to be encouragers, particularly of those who are weak in the faith or struggling. Acts 11:23 depicts Barnabas as a man who was delighted to see others exhibiting the grace of God in their lives, exhorting and encouraging them to remain faithful. In the same way, we should look for opportunities to praise those who bring glory and honor to God through lives that reflect their faith. In addition, Barnabas is an example of a generous spirit when it comes to giving sacrificially to the work of the Lord.

  Adam was the first man to ever exist (Genesis 1:27; 1 Corinthians 15:5). He was created by God as the first human being and placed in the Garden of Eden designed just for him (Genesis 2:8, 10). Adam is the father of all mankind; every human being who has ever existed is a direct descendant of Adam, and it is through Adam that every human being has inherited a sinful nature (Romans 5:12).

God spoke everything else in the universe into existence (Genesis 1). But on the sixth day God did something different. He got down in the dirt and formed Adam from the clay (the name Adam is related to adamah, the Hebrew word for “ground” or “soil”). God then breathed His own breath into the man’s nostrils, “and man became a living soul” (Genesis 2:7). The breath of God is what separates human beings from the animal kingdom (Genesis 1:26–27). Beginning with Adam, every human being created since then has an immortal spirit as God has. God created a being so like Him that the man could reason, reflect, intuit, and choose his own paths.

The first woman, Eve, was made from one of Adam’s ribs (Genesis 2:21–22). God placed them in His perfect world, with only one restriction: they were not to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (Genesis 2:16–17). The option for Adam to disobey had to be present, because without that right to choose, human beings would not be completely free. God respects what He has created to such an extent that He will not allow even His overwhelming love to violate our free will.

Genesis 3 details the account of Adam’s choice to sin. Both Adam and Eve disobeyed God’s command and ate of the tree which the Lord had forbidden (verse 6). In that one act of disobedience, they brought sin and all of its consequences into God’s perfect world. Through Adam, sin entered the world, and with sin came death (Genesis 3:19, 21; Romans 5:12).

We know that Adam was an actual person, not an allegory, because he is referred to as a real personage throughout the rest of the Bible (Genesis 5:1; Romans 5:12–17). Luke, the great historian, traces the lineage of Jesus all the way back to this one man (Luke 3:38). In addition to his being a real person, Adam is also the prototype for all human beings to come. Prophets, priests, and kings, born with a sin nature, were all children of the first Adam. Jesus, virgin-born and sinless, is “the second Adam” (1 Corinthians 15:47). The first Adam brought sin into the world; the second brought life (John 1:4). Jesus, our second Adam, offers a new birth (John 3:3) with a new nature and new life for whoever believes (2 Corinthians 5:17; John 3:16–18). Adam lost paradise; Jesus will regain it.

BereansThe Bereans were residents of the city of Berea in Macedonia. Paul and Silas preached to them during Paul’s second missionary journey. The account of Paul and Silas in this location is recorded in Acts 17:10-15. It reads,

The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. Many of them therefore believed, with not a few Greek women of high standing as well as men. But when the Jews from Thessalonica learned that the word of God was proclaimed by Paul at Berea also, they came there too, agitating and stirring up the crowds. Then the brothers immediately sent Paul off on his way to the sea, but Silas and Timothy remained there. Those who conducted Paul brought him as far as Athens, and after receiving a command for Silas and Timothy to come to him as soon as possible, they departed.

These Bereans exhibited several positive characteristics that marked their response to the gospel message. First and foremost, the Bereans were “more noble” because of their willing reception of the Word of God. Unlike the unbelieving Thessalonian Jews, the Bereans were eager to hear the teaching of Paul and Silas.

Second, the Bereans examined what they heard by comparing it to the Old Testament Scriptures. The fact that they honestly listened and conducted further personal research led many Bereans to faith in Jesus as the Messiah. This expansion of Christianity was not limited to those within the synagogue, but also extended to many Greek men and women in Berea.

Third, the Bereans guarded Paul’s safety. When Paul’s enemies arrived from nearby Thessalonica, the Berean believers protected Paul by getting him out of the region. They did not turn him over to his enemies or disassociate from him as the Jews from Thessalonica might have expected.

Fourth, the Bereans continued to grow in their faith. After Paul’s departure, Silas and Timothy remained in Berea. Why? The Bible does not explicitly say, but one reason was probably to give the Berean Christians a chance to obtain further instruction in the Christian faith.

Later in the book of Acts, we are given further insight into the faithfulness of at least one Berean man. When Paul decides to return for additional ministry in Macedonia despite the tremendous persecution he had recently faced, one of the men who chose to accompany him was from Berea: “There he spent three months, and when a plot was made against him by the Jews as he was about to set sail for Syria, he decided to return through Macedonia. Sopater the Berean, son of Pyrrhus, accompanied him” (Acts 20:3-4). Sopater, likely a Gentile Christian, continued to assist Paul (and Timothy) in ministry long after Paul’s first visit to Berea.

In summary, the Bereans have long been seen as a positive example of how a person or community should respond to biblical teaching. We are called to eagerly learn from God’s Word and, no matter who the teacher is, to investigate new teaching in comparison with the Bible. The practice of the ancient Bereans is a model for all who desire to grow spiritually today.

Why did Cain then kill Abel?”

The stories of the first act of worship in human history and the first murder are recorded in Genesis chapter 4. This follows the account of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, their disobedience to God, and the entrance of sin into the human race. Death, the judgment pronounced upon them by God, soon made its entrance in the first family.

Cain and Abel, the sons of Adam and Eve, “in the course of time” brought offerings to the Lord (Genesis 4:3). Without doubt, they were doing this because God had revealed it to them. Some question, “How were Cain and Abel supposed to know what to sacrifice?” The answer is that God must have instructed them. It is clear that the offering was to be a substitutionary atonement, because we read in Hebrews 11:4, “By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did.” When Abel came for worship, it was by faith that he brought his offering, the “fat portions from some of the first-born of his flock” (Genesis 4:4). The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, and it was accepted.

His brother Cain brought “some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord” (Genesis 4:3). But on Cain and his offering the Lord did not look with favor. We do not know how He expressed His rejection, but it was evident. In Jude’s epistle, verse 11, we read, “They have taken the way of Cain,” referring to lawless men. This may mean that they, like Cain, disobediently devised their own ways of worship; they did not come by faith. Cain’s offering, while acceptable in his own eyes, was not acceptable to the Lord. The result was that Cain became very angry, and later, in the field, he killed his brother Abel (Genesis 4:8).

Why did Cain kill Abel? It was premeditated murder, caused by anger, jealousy, and pride. John wrote, “Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous” (1 John 3:12). The evil in his heart was further revealed when the Lord asked Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” “I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Genesis 4:9). The Lord brought a curse on Cain, and he went out from His presence.

When Jesus Christ died upon the cross, He became the substitutionary atonement for our sins. He died in our place and arose from the grave that we might have everlasting life with Him. As Abel made his sacrifice by faith, we accept Jesus’ death by faith and are made right before Him. “This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.” We “are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in His blood” (Romans 3:22, 24).

There has been some question raised as to the “origin of man” and the genome theory.  I want to shed some light on the subject. Once again, thanks to science, we can place our faith in the Word of God.

  “Y-Chromosomal Adam” and “Mitochondrial Eve” are the scientifically-proven theories that every man alive today is descended from a single man and every man and woman alive today is descended from a single woman.

Humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes. One of those pairs, known as the sex chromosomes (because they determine gender), consists of two X chromosomes in females, and one X-chromosome and one Y-chromosome in males. Girls receive one of their X-chromosomes from their mother and the other from their father. Boys receive the X only from their mother and the Y only from their father. Therefore, the Y-chromosome is passed directly from father to son. Because of this, scientists are able to trace male ancestry.

In 1995, the journal Science published the results of a study in which a segment of the human Y-chromosome from 38 men from different ethnic groups were analyzed for variation (Dorit, R.L., Akashi, H. and Gilbert, W. 1995. “Absence of polymorphism at the ZFY locus on the human Y chromosome.” Science 268:1183–1185). The segment of the Y-chromosome consisted of 729 base pairs. To their surprise, the researchers found no variation at all. Their conclusion was that the human race must have experienced a genetic bottleneck sometime in the not-too-distant past. Further research was done, and it was determined that every man alive today actually descended from a single man whom scientists now refer to as “Y-Chromosomal Adam.”

Mitochondrial Eve takes it a step further. While Y-chromosomes are only passed down from father to son, mitochondrial-DNA is passed down from mother to both daughter and son. Because mitochondrial-DNA is only passed on by the mother and never the father, mitochondrial-DNA lineage is the same as maternal lineage. Knowing this, scientists have found that every human alive today can trace their ancestry back to a single woman whom they now refer to as “Mitochondrial Eve.” While Y-Chromosomal Adam is believed to be the ancestor of every living man, Mitochondrial Eve is believed to be the mother of all living humans, male and female.

It is important to note that this does not prove that Y-Chromosomal Adam was the only man alive before he started having children. This only proves that his descendants are the only ones to have survived. Likewise, Mitochondrial Eve was not necessarily the only woman alive before having children. Rather, all we know for sure is that she is at least one of the ancestors of all living humans. While contemporaries of hers may or may not figure into the ancestry of living humans, we can at least say that none of their mitochondrial-DNA has survived.

Scientists who share the Darwinian bias naturally presume that these two were not the only humans alive during their pre-child bearing lifetimes, while biblical creationists naturally presume that they were. As for determining when these two actually lived respectively, the conventional perspective is founded upon uniformitarian assumptions which many creationists reject, and with fair reason. So there is disagreement there, too. Naturally, the Darwinian time frame is much longer (tens to hundreds of thousands of years), presuming an Old-Earth scenario, while the Young-Earth perspective is much shorter (less than ten thousand years). What we can say with fair certainty is that, regardless of time frames and alleged contemporaries, every man alive today descended from one man while every human alive today descended from one woman.

“Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living” (Genesis 3:20 NIV).

Eve in the Bible was the wife of Adam, the first man that God created. Eve was the mother of Cain and Abel and Seth and “other sons and daughters” (Genesis 4:1–2, 25; 5:4). Eve was the first woman, the first wife, and the first mother in the world.

The name Eve comes from the Hebrew word chavâh, which means “the living” or “life.” She was called “Eve” because she was the mother of all living (Genesis 3:20). God created her after allowing Adam to see that he did not have among the animals a suitable companion—that is, there was no other creature like himself. So God created Eve as Adam’s counterpart. Eve was made in God’s image, just as Adam was (Genesis 1:27).

God gave a command to Adam and Eve while they were living in the garden of Eden. He told them not to eat of a tree called “the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil” because, He warned, on the day they ate of that tree, they would surely die (Genesis 2:17). The Bible doesn’t tell us how long Adam and Eve lived in the garden without incident, but at some point Eve gave into the temptation to eat from the forbidden tree. She was deceived by the serpent (1 Timothy 2:13–14) who, it is generally believed, was a creature used by Satan. The serpent sowed doubt in Eve’s mind by asking her whether God had really meant what He said in forbidding the tree (Genesis 3:1). Then, the serpent fed Eve a lie: “You will not certainly die. . . . For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:4–5). Eve took some of fruit and ate it and then brought some to her husband, Adam, who also ate. Adam and Eve immediately understood what they had not previously understood—their eyes were opened to both good and evil. But God had not lied—death came as a result of Eve and Adam’s disobedience.

Death came to the whole human race as a result of what Eve was tricked into doing and Adam’s subsequent choice to sin. Two specific curses were given to Eve and all her daughters. First, God multiplied Eve’s pain in childbearing. Second, God pronounced that the relationship between man and woman would be characterized by conflict (Genesis 3:16). These two curses have been proved true in every woman’s life throughout history. No matter how many medical advances we achieve, childbearing is always a painful and stressful experience for a woman. And no matter how advanced and progressive society becomes, the relationship between man and woman remains a power struggle, a battle of the sexes full of strife.

Eve was the mother of all the living and also the first to experience these specific curses. However, Eve will be redeemed along with Adam because of the second Adam, Christ, who was without sin (Romans 5:12–14). “For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. . . . ‘The first man Adam became a living being’; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit” (1 Corinthians 15:22, 45).

(Genesis 3:16):

As God pronounces judgment on Eve for her part of the transgression in Eden, He says, “Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you” (Genesis 3:16). This verse causes some puzzlement. It would seem that a woman desiring her husband would be a good thing, and not a curse.

The Hebrew phrase in question does not include a verb and is literally translated “toward your husband your desire.” Since this judgment is predictive, the future tense verb “will be” is added for clarity: “Your desire will be for your husband.” The most basic and straightforward understanding of this verse is that woman and man would now have ongoing conflict. In contrast to the ideal conditions in the Garden of Eden and the harmony between Adam and Eve, their relationship, from that point on, would include a power struggle. The NLT translation makes it more evident: “You will desire to control your husband, but he will rule over you.”

God is saying that Eve would desire to rule over her husband, but her husband would instead rule over her. Replacing the mutually interdependent relationship the Lord had created was a desire for one spouse to lead the other. Sin had wrought discord. The battle of the sexes had begun. Both man and woman would now seek the upper hand in marriage. The man who was to lovingly care for and nurture his wife would now seek to rule her, and the wife would desire to wrest control from her husband.

It is important to note that this judgment only states what will take place. God says that man and woman will live in conflict and their relationship will become problematic. The statement “he shall rule over you” is not a biblical command for men to dominate women.

In the New Testament, God affirms His ideal relationship between man and woman in marriage. Christ-like qualities are emphasized. What the curse of sin created, believers in Christ are called to correct by living according to God’s Spirit. Ephesians 5: says that the wife should willingly submit to her husband’s authority in the home, in essence, refusing to scratch the curse-fueled itch to seize control (verses 22-24). Husbands are to love their wives unconditionally and sacrificially, just as Christ loves the Church (verses 25-30). The whole passage begins with an emphasis on mutual submission to one another: “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” (verse 21).

From the beginning, God’s focus has been love and respect between husband and wife. Though sin has tainted the original beauty of this relationship, God commands believers in Christ to pursue this ideal relationship between husband and wife, an ideal perfectly illustrated in Christ’s relationship with the Church.

The Ethiopian eunuch mentioned in the Bible was a high court official of Candace, the queen of Ethiopia. He was in Israel to worship the Lord at the temple, which means he was probably a Jewish proselyte. On his trip home to Ethiopia, he had a life-changing encounter with Philip the evangelist (Acts 8:26–40).

A eunuch is a man who has been castrated for the purpose of trusted servitude in a royal household (see Esther 1:10; 4:4; and Daniel 1:9). A king would often castrate his servants to ensure they would not be tempted to engage in sexual activity with others in the palace (specifically, the royal harem) or to prevent their plotting an overthrow (eunuchs were incapable of setting up a dynasty of their own). Eunuchs have been employed in many civilizations, including the Ancient Middle East, Ancient Greece and Rome, China, Korea, and Thailand. Jesus mentions them in Matthew 19:12.

The story of the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8 is a marvelous depiction of God’s role in evangelism. The story starts with Philip, one of the seven original deacons, who had just preached the gospel in Samaria (Acts 8:4–8). Philip was visited by an angel who told him to go south to a road that ran from Jerusalem to Gaza, in the desert (Acts 8:26). Philip didn’t ask why he was being sent to the middle of nowhere; he just went (verse 27). On the road, in a chariot, was the Ethiopian eunuch, who was just returning from Jerusalem. The eunuch was sitting in his chariot reading the book of Isaiah. The Spirit of the Lord told Philip to go over and join the chariot, and when Philip drew close he overheard the eunuch reading from Isaiah out loud. Philip asked the Ethiopian whether or not he understood what he was reading. The eunuch replied, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” He then invited Philip to come sit with him in the chariot (verse 31). The passage the Ethiopian eunuch was reading was this: “He was led like a sheep to the slaughter, / and as a lamb before its shearer is silent, / so he did not open his mouth. / In his humiliation he was deprived of justice. / Who can speak of his descendants? / For his life was taken from the earth” (Acts 8:32–33; cf. Isaiah 53:7–8). The eunuch was wondering whom the prophet was talking about, “himself or someone else?” (Acts 8:34). Philip used this opportunity to explain the passage: this was a prophecy about Jesus Christ, who meekly gave His life to save the world. As Philip explained the gospel, the Ethiopian eunuch believed. When they came to some water by the side of the road, the eunuch asked to be baptized (Acts 8:36).

Philip agreed to baptize him, and the Ethiopian eunuch “gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him” (Acts 8:38). As soon as the Ethiopian eunuch came up out of the water, “the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing” (verse 39). Tradition says that the eunuch carried the gospel back home to Ethiopia and founded the church there. Philip found himself at Azotus, and he carried on preaching the gospel on his way to Caesarea (Acts 8:40).

There are many elements of God’s providence and intervention in the story of the Ethiopian eunuch. The account reveals the importance of these three things: the Word of God, the Holy Spirit’s leading, and a human evangelist. In order for a person to accept the truth, he must first hear the truth preached (Romans 10:14). It is God’s desire that the truth be preached everywhere (Acts 1:8). The Spirit of the Lord had been preparing the eunuch’s heart to receive the gospel. As the eunuch read Isaiah, he began to ask questions, and at just the right moment the Lord brought Philip across his path. The field was “ripe for harvest” (John 4:35), and Philip was God’s laborer in the field. This was no coincidence. It was God’s plan from the very beginning, and Philip was obedient to that plan.