They That Wait
“”For,” said Peter, “it is written in the Book of Psalms: “ ‘May his place be deserted; let there be no one to dwell in it,’ and, “ ‘May another take his place of leadership.’ Therefore it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus was living among us, beginning from John’s baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection.” So they nominated two men: Joseph called Barsabbas (also known as Justus) and Matthias. Then they prayed, “Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which of these two you have chosen to take over this apostolic ministry, which Judas left to go where he belongs.” Then they cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias; so he was added to the eleven apostles.”
Acts 1:20-26 NIV
““What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?””
Luke 10:26 NIV
Show of hands—can you spot the issues of this text? How many times do we pray as the apostles did in Acts? More often than I’d like to admit, that’s for sure!
Let’s discuss it…
Problem number 1: The rationale for the prayer. Peter was correct in quoting scripture, but incorrect in his interpretation. I love that Luke includes Jesus’ question: “how do you read it?” Our interpretation of what we read in scripture is of much more importance than what it says. People literally have used the Bible for slavery, sexism, racism, abuse, etc… There is a scripture that can corroborate any claim you make! I’ll prove it. If I had $1 for every time I have heard someone justify drinking with “well, the Bible says don’t drink to excess” (Proverbs 23; Ephesians 5). This is true; that is, in fact, what the word says. If you can stay holy and happy hour, so be it. However, the Bible also says “give no foothold to the devil” (Ephesians 4:27). Therefore, if you know a cocktail will disrupt your purity and have you quoting Apostles Silk Sonic talking about “imma leave the door open” or brown make you clown and after an old fashion you “wish somebody would”… Ephesians 4 just cancelled Ephesians 5!
Problem number 2: “So they nominated two men.” Have you ever chose, then asked God to bless your choices? Many of us are notorious for that! Like “God, send me a sign that Mike is the one for me.” Huh? God might not even know adult Mike; Hasn’t heard a prayer from Mike since he was a child! Free game–God in their bio does not equal God in their hearts! God’s choice could be Brad. We do this time and time again. It’s hard to have discernment of what God is saying to you, when you already have the answers you want Him to say in mind. I cannot stress this enough! The Apostles didn’t leave any room for God to be God. They presented their two options, casted lots, then had the audacity to say it must be God’s will when the lot fell on Mathias! Sound familiar? “Well, God didn’t stop it so it must be right,” or “it must be a sign because I walked away and then he came back.” This is WRONG DOCTRINE! The answer is always ‘no’ until God specifically says yes. God doesn’t roll the dice on things. It’s not left up to chance. Everything is appointed with God. His choice was Saul. When He got finished transforming him, Paul, formally known as Saul, went on to write half of the New Testament. What did Mathias do? *insert cricket noises* Exactly! We never hear of him again. (Unless you’re Catholic, then yes, you hear his name mentioned at consecration, but now you know why! Because they casts lots and made him an apostle)
Jesus told the apostles to go to Jerusalem and wait, and the glory would be revealed to them. Yes, scripture says faith without works is dead, but in your waiting season, that scripture does not apply. Jesus didn’t give them instructions to find their own candidate to replace Judas, and He did not need their options. All He asked them to do was wait!
We must learn to obey God’s instructions, even if that means waiting longer than you anticipated. Don’t give God your options. You can’t do God things with your man capabilities anyway. He’s God all by Himself! He has His own plans.
“…But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”
Isaiah 40:31 KJV
Isaiah is speaking my language! Are those promises worth the wait?