"During this time Peter stood up in the company -- there were about one hundred and twenty in the room at that time -- and said, 'Friends, long ago the Holy Spirit spoke through David regarding Judas, who became the guide of those arresting Jesus. That Scripture had to be fulfilled and now has been. Judas was one of us and had his assigned place in this ministry.
"As you know, he took the evil bribe money and bought a small farm. There he came to a bad end...Everybody in Jerusalem knows this by now; they call the place Murder Meadow. It's exactly what we find written in the Psalms: "Let his farm become haunted so no one can ever live there..."
"And also what was written later: "Let someone else take over his post...'" Act 1:15-20 (The Message).
Peter was at it again! We must remember that this was before Pentecost. He was spot on in his application of prophecy to Judas but one has to question his so-called 'leading' to replace him. There is no mention here that the Holy Spirit had anything to do with what happened next.
Peter was a man of impulse and of action. They were no longer the Twelve but the Eleven and that didn't sit well with him. He recognised that the psalm he quoted was talking about Judas and, as their natural leader, decided that he must be replaced. All very commendable but not in God's scheme of things!
Jesus had told them to wait in Jerusalem -- that's all! No reference to doing anything else, including replacing Judas by drawing straws. That method was redundant. In a few days' time they would have the very presence of Jesus within them as He had promised, and then there would be no need to make these kinds of decisions. God already had His replacement man waiting in the wings, but he didn't know it!
Why is this little interlude included in Luke's story? There is no mention that Peter did the wrong thing -- just the bare facts and yet, if one reads between the lines, the replacement they chose plays no part in the rest of the story. That says something! Is it a quiet little reminder that we also make decisions that make sense in the natural but are irrelevant to God's purpose for us?
Before He left them, His very last words to them were about His replacement, the Holy Spirit, who would be in them what He was to them when He was with them. They had to learn to discern and follow His leading when He came, and in the mean time they were instructed to wait for Him.
It amazes me how eager we humans are to 'help' God! When things don't happen quickly enough for us or in the way we anticipate, we add our bit, reasonable, logical, but not what God has planned. In this case it seems there was no harm done except that when God brought them His man, Paul, they had trouble accepting him because of his history.
This may seem like an irrelevant bit of information in Lukes' story but it can be a valuable lesson if we take heed. God is not out of options when we mess up. If we wait for Him, He will reveal His solution at the right time and with far greater impact than we can ever imagine. Compare Judas and Paul. Judas blew it! God replaced him with Paul, not Matthias. Now wasn't that a good plan!
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