Tidings for Tuesday
And they prayed, and said, Thou Lord which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen. Acts 1:24
Even if Judas Iscariot had not committed suicide, he would never have been allowed anywhere near the other disciples again. But the disciples did recognize the need to have an even dozen in their number. Of the many faithful followers of the Lord Jesus, they selected two who were highly qualified to fill their ranks. We know very little of these two men, Barsabas and Matthias. Sometimes we have to think twice about which one was selected. But we have the testimony of the eleven that both were faithful and worthy men. At this point, the disciples display spiritual wisdom. After exercising their own judgment to the best of their abilities, they were going to leave the ultimate decision up to God. Using an Old Testament method - the last time it was used before the New Testament system cam into play - they submitted to the Lord’s will. It’s a good example for us to follow.
We have the divine leading of the Holy Spirit today, enabling us to determine the Lord’s will in matters great and small. And we have the Word of God in its completed form as an infallible guide. We don’t need to cast lots. But we do need to exercise spiritual discernment as well as submission to God’s will. For example, when a young person is seeking to determine an appropriate life vocation, the Word of God, the guidance of Assembly oversight, and a goodly portion of common sense will eliminate most of the fields that should be rejected. Careers in the liquor, tobacco, and gambling fields are obviously wrong, as are careers in any business or endeavour that requires or promotes dishonesty of any kind. The point is, even before such a person begins to seek the Lord’s direction on such a crucial matter, the resources are available to narrow the choices considerably. But the happiest decisions are those that we allow the Lord to make.
We read nothing more of Matthias in Scripture. Various traditions about him exist, some of which identify him as Zacchaeus, Barnabas, or Nathanael. God no doubt used him in a mighty way in the early days of Christianity, otherwise, why would He have selected him? We have no reason to criticize the selection of Matthias. Just as we have no reason to criticize any of the decisions that we leave up to the Lord’s guidance. The God Who has never made a mistake will not make one when it comes to our decisions. We can trust His wisdom, His desire for that which is best for us, and His eternal purposes.
When we pray, Thy will be done, we are tapping into perfect wisdom and guidance, and so we should use this prayer more often. -Jim MacIntosh