The Planned Glory of Randomness

Episode Transcription

Today, we're going to be talking about one of my favorite characteristics of God, His sovereignty. Specifically, we're going to be in Acts 1: 15 -26. I read Acts just a few months ago because I only started reading the Bible and became a Christian just a year and a half ago.


So I absolutely love the book of Acts. It's one of my favorite books and I'm considering reading it again. I'm on 1 Peter right now, but I might be reading Acts afterward. Anyway, whenever I first read Acts, or the first chapter of Acts, I realized this one aspect of the very last verse in Acts 1 that struck me, especially since I love the sovereignty of God so much. So I want to talk about that today because I like it and I think it's a great encouragement. It's some amazing truth.


So anyway, we're going to be in Acts, like I said, Acts 1:15-26, and I'm just going to read those verses quickly.

"In those days Peter stood up among the brothers (the company of persons was in all about 120) and said, “Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus. For he was numbered among us and was allotted his share in this ministry.”(Now this man acquired a field with the reward of his wickedness, and falling headlong he burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out. And it became known to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the field was called in their own language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.) “For it is written in the Book of Psalms, “ ‘May his camp become desolate, and let there be no one to dwell in it’; and “ ‘Let another take his office.’ So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection.” And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also called Justus, and Matthias. And they prayed and said, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.” And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles." - Acts 1:15-26

The verse we're going to be looking at specifically, like I said, is verse 26 where it says that they "cast lots for them and the lot fell in Mathias and he was numbered with the 11 apostles." So keep it in the back of your mind.


Devoting to Prayer

One side note I want to talk about really quick is right before what we just read in verse 14. All of the disciples and the women come together in an upper room. Verse 14 says that "with one accord, they were devoting themselves to prayer." I love that, devoting yourself to prayer. We are to be devoted to prayer, constantly praying, constantly talking with God, and doing His will. Jesus left and all the disciples knew to do is devote themselves to prayer, to talk to God.


Going back to the verses that we read, they were trying to figure out, okay, Judas is gone and we need someone to replace him. How are we going to figure this out? Because it was written, "let another take his office." And that's actually a reference to Psalm 109:8.

So they're like, okay someone's supposed to take his office. Who is that going to be? So we can see already that they're devoting themselves to prayer. They're trying to figure out who this is supposed to be, and they come up with two people. We're just going to call the first guy Joseph, they call him three names in this verse but just going to call him Joseph. They also come up with Mathias.

So Joseph and Matthias were the two people that they have chosen to sort of take this role, but of course, they were devoting themselves in prayer. I could guess that these are the two people that God revealed to them, or the people that are eligible, or that God wants to take the place of Judas.

Sovereignty Over All

First of all, we can see the sovereignty of God in that they understand that He is sovereign overall. That is the point of this whole passage, at least what I got from it. Jesus leaves, they don't have God literally in there in person form telling him what to do. However, they still know that God is sovereign over everything, so they go straight to prayer asking that God would reveal to them who this is supposed to be.


Now another thing about God's sovereignty; the Holy Spirit, which is God, "spoke these things beforehand by the mouth of David concerning Judas" that's Acts 1:16. Talk about sovereignty, I mean, God is the one who is speaking to these prophets. The Holy Spirit was speaking to these prophets.

He was speaking to us through these prophets. He knows everything that's coming, everything that has, everything that is happening and He's speaking to us, that's incredible to me. As I've said, the disciples realize this and they realize this to a massive degree because, in verse 26, it says they cast lots for them.

They cast lots between Joseph and Mathias. Who is going to take Judas' place? This to me is such a clear example of understanding God's sovereignty over all. It says in Proverbs 16:33,


"The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord." - Psalm 16:33

And the disciples understand this. This was not some secret to be hidden. They understood this and lived their lives accordingly. This is how we're supposed to live our lives.


Now I'm not arguing that you are supposed to roll a dice for every decision that you make, even though I truly do believe that that dice role is from God. If you go to roll a dice right now, I believe that if it lands on five in God's sovereignty, it landed on five. Now that five might not mean anything.

The disciples were aware that the lots that they were casting meant something, but the point that I'm trying to make is casting lots is supposed to be random, one of the most random things you can do, it's like rolling a dice. Whenever you're playing a game, you roll a dice. You cannot make that dice land... we're not talking about weighed dice, we're talking about normal dice... you cannot make a normal dice land on the number that you want. You roll it and it's random. That's exactly what the disciples were doing here. They were casting lots for Joseph and Mathias, knowing that the result of that would be from God because everything is from God.

Seriousness and Activeness

You can't argue that the disciples didn't think that this whole situation of choosing a replacement for Judas was serious. They were very serious about this. Peter was making references to the Scriptures. They were very serious about this, and this is the way that they chose to choose the replacement for Judas, the 12th disciple. They understand that God is over all and everything happens according to His will.


Notice, however, that they were active in understanding God's will, devoting themselves to prayer. They were not passive. Sometimes we like to pray to God and say, "God do this," and then sit back, cross our arms, and relax. Of course, God can do whatever he wants, but He calls us to be active.

They are actively devoting themselves in prayer. They're actively looking at the Scriptures and seeing in that verse, "let another take office." They're actively learning about God; they're actively devoting themselves in prayer. Because of that, because of that knowledge, they're learning that Jesus has taught them, the answers to prayer, they're seeing that God is over everything.


That same truth holds for us today. As we're going throughout our lives, we can look around, we can look at the trees and the leaves blowing in the wind and realize God is over that. And if He's over that, then He's over everything.

In Matthew 10:29 -31, Jesus says

"Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows." - Matthew 10:29 -31

The Little Details

God is over everything, the little details, the hairs on your head, your hair moving in the wind. John Piper has a great analogy of the bubbles at the top of your Coke. He is over it all.

And if he's over those little things, or seemingly to us little, He's over the big things in our life. So we need to pray just like the disciples are praying, asking God to show us what He wants for us, what He wants us to do.


Trust me, in these past few weeks of trying to figure out what I'm going to be doing with my life, trying to figure out how to make an income, the only way I've gotten through it is knowing that God is fully in control of all of it. And I can talk to Him about it. I can ask him for help. I can ask him to show me directions.


You know, a lot of the time it's not God speaking to me with an audible voice telling me exactly what to do, laying it all out. I think that's for good reason. I think He wants us to trust Him. He wants us to see that everything is laid out by Him. Colossians 1:16 -17 says

For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. - Colossians 1:16 -17

What a great truth, what a glorious truth. It brings emotion to me, it makes me feel peace, it makes me feel comforted by Him, and it makes me feel His Spirit moving in me. Just like disciples, I want to understand that and trust that with all of my heart. I want to know that He is over everything and that my hope for you!


All-Inclusive Sovereignty

If you are in Christ, if God has chosen you and called you, I would pray that you would be able to read these verses and see what the disciples are doing and claim those truths for you as well. The same truths that Jesus spoke to the disciples, the same truths that the Holy Spirit has spoken through prophets, are the same truths that we get to claim today because of the New Covenant.


We get all of those things. We're grafted into it as believers, as those in Christ. So go throughout your day, look around at what's going on, at the little things, and realize if God is over those things and He's over everything that I'm doing. Everything.


Now, whether you are a Christian or not, He is over all of it. Let's be very clear, just because people are not in Christ does not mean that God is not sovereign over them. It's by His mercy and by His grace that He allows them to be living. Of course, it's the same for us as well. Whether we are in Christ or not, God is over everything. Now what's amazing is if you are in Christ, you get to realize that you get to believe it and you get to see how glorious it is. It's not constraining, it's freeing. It's amazing.


So, anyway, I challenge you to go look to the Bible. Look at these verses. See the way that the disciples devote themselves to God, devote themselves to the sovereignty of God, and believe it. Go find other verses in the Bible that talk about sovereignty. I mean, there are so many. I'm going to be talking about this much more in this podcast.


Anyway, this was a shorter episode because it was a very foundational, but very simple truth. God is sovereign over everything. It's simple, but also incredibly complex when you really think about what that means.


As I said, I want to talk about it more, but I hope that you guys enjoyed this episode. Thank you guys for listening (or reading). I will see you all in the next one.

Episode Transcription

Today, we're going to be talking about one of my favorite characteristics of God, His sovereignty. Specifically, we're going to be in Acts 1: 15 -26. I read Acts just a few months ago because I only started reading the Bible and became a Christian just a year and a half ago.


So I absolutely love the book of Acts. It's one of my favorite books and I'm considering reading it again. I'm on 1 Peter right now, but I might be reading Acts afterward. Anyway, whenever I first read Acts, or the first chapter of Acts, I realized this one aspect of the very last verse in Acts 1 that struck me, especially since I love the sovereignty of God so much. So I want to talk about that today because I like it and I think it's a great encouragement. It's some amazing truth.


So anyway, we're going to be in Acts, like I said, Acts 1:15-26, and I'm just going to read those verses quickly.

"In those days Peter stood up among the brothers (the company of persons was in all about 120) and said, “Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus. For he was numbered among us and was allotted his share in this ministry.”(Now this man acquired a field with the reward of his wickedness, and falling headlong he burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out. And it became known to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the field was called in their own language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.) “For it is written in the Book of Psalms, “ ‘May his camp become desolate, and let there be no one to dwell in it’; and “ ‘Let another take his office.’ So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection.” And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also called Justus, and Matthias. And they prayed and said, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.” And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles." - Acts 1:15-26

The verse we're going to be looking at specifically, like I said, is verse 26 where it says that they "cast lots for them and the lot fell in Mathias and he was numbered with the 11 apostles." So keep it in the back of your mind.


Devoting to Prayer

One side note I want to talk about really quick is right before what we just read in verse 14. All of the disciples and the women come together in an upper room. Verse 14 says that "with one accord, they were devoting themselves to prayer." I love that, devoting yourself to prayer. We are to be devoted to prayer, constantly praying, constantly talking with God, and doing His will. Jesus left and all the disciples knew to do is devote themselves to prayer, to talk to God.


Going back to the verses that we read, they were trying to figure out, okay, Judas is gone and we need someone to replace him. How are we going to figure this out? Because it was written, "let another take his office." And that's actually a reference to Psalm 109:8.

So they're like, okay someone's supposed to take his office. Who is that going to be? So we can see already that they're devoting themselves to prayer. They're trying to figure out who this is supposed to be, and they come up with two people. We're just going to call the first guy Joseph, they call him three names in this verse but just going to call him Joseph. They also come up with Mathias.

So Joseph and Matthias were the two people that they have chosen to sort of take this role, but of course, they were devoting themselves in prayer. I could guess that these are the two people that God revealed to them, or the people that are eligible, or that God wants to take the place of Judas.

Sovereignty Over All

First of all, we can see the sovereignty of God in that they understand that He is sovereign overall. That is the point of this whole passage, at least what I got from it. Jesus leaves, they don't have God literally in there in person form telling him what to do. However, they still know that God is sovereign over everything, so they go straight to prayer asking that God would reveal to them who this is supposed to be.


Now another thing about God's sovereignty; the Holy Spirit, which is God, "spoke these things beforehand by the mouth of David concerning Judas" that's Acts 1:16. Talk about sovereignty, I mean, God is the one who is speaking to these prophets. The Holy Spirit was speaking to these prophets.

He was speaking to us through these prophets. He knows everything that's coming, everything that has, everything that is happening and He's speaking to us, that's incredible to me. As I've said, the disciples realize this and they realize this to a massive degree because, in verse 26, it says they cast lots for them.

They cast lots between Joseph and Mathias. Who is going to take Judas' place? This to me is such a clear example of understanding God's sovereignty over all. It says in Proverbs 16:33,


"The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord." - Psalm 16:33

And the disciples understand this. This was not some secret to be hidden. They understood this and lived their lives accordingly. This is how we're supposed to live our lives.


Now I'm not arguing that you are supposed to roll a dice for every decision that you make, even though I truly do believe that that dice role is from God. If you go to roll a dice right now, I believe that if it lands on five in God's sovereignty, it landed on five. Now that five might not mean anything.

The disciples were aware that the lots that they were casting meant something, but the point that I'm trying to make is casting lots is supposed to be random, one of the most random things you can do, it's like rolling a dice. Whenever you're playing a game, you roll a dice. You cannot make that dice land... we're not talking about weighed dice, we're talking about normal dice... you cannot make a normal dice land on the number that you want. You roll it and it's random. That's exactly what the disciples were doing here. They were casting lots for Joseph and Mathias, knowing that the result of that would be from God because everything is from God.

Seriousness and Activeness

You can't argue that the disciples didn't think that this whole situation of choosing a replacement for Judas was serious. They were very serious about this. Peter was making references to the Scriptures. They were very serious about this, and this is the way that they chose to choose the replacement for Judas, the 12th disciple. They understand that God is over all and everything happens according to His will.


Notice, however, that they were active in understanding God's will, devoting themselves to prayer. They were not passive. Sometimes we like to pray to God and say, "God do this," and then sit back, cross our arms, and relax. Of course, God can do whatever he wants, but He calls us to be active.

They are actively devoting themselves in prayer. They're actively looking at the Scriptures and seeing in that verse, "let another take office." They're actively learning about God; they're actively devoting themselves in prayer. Because of that, because of that knowledge, they're learning that Jesus has taught them, the answers to prayer, they're seeing that God is over everything.


That same truth holds for us today. As we're going throughout our lives, we can look around, we can look at the trees and the leaves blowing in the wind and realize God is over that. And if He's over that, then He's over everything.

In Matthew 10:29 -31, Jesus says

"Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows." - Matthew 10:29 -31

The Little Details

God is over everything, the little details, the hairs on your head, your hair moving in the wind. John Piper has a great analogy of the bubbles at the top of your Coke. He is over it all.

And if he's over those little things, or seemingly to us little, He's over the big things in our life. So we need to pray just like the disciples are praying, asking God to show us what He wants for us, what He wants us to do.


Trust me, in these past few weeks of trying to figure out what I'm going to be doing with my life, trying to figure out how to make an income, the only way I've gotten through it is knowing that God is fully in control of all of it. And I can talk to Him about it. I can ask him for help. I can ask him to show me directions.


You know, a lot of the time it's not God speaking to me with an audible voice telling me exactly what to do, laying it all out. I think that's for good reason. I think He wants us to trust Him. He wants us to see that everything is laid out by Him. Colossians 1:16 -17 says

For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. - Colossians 1:16 -17

What a great truth, what a glorious truth. It brings emotion to me, it makes me feel peace, it makes me feel comforted by Him, and it makes me feel His Spirit moving in me. Just like disciples, I want to understand that and trust that with all of my heart. I want to know that He is over everything and that my hope for you!


All-Inclusive Sovereignty

If you are in Christ, if God has chosen you and called you, I would pray that you would be able to read these verses and see what the disciples are doing and claim those truths for you as well. The same truths that Jesus spoke to the disciples, the same truths that the Holy Spirit has spoken through prophets, are the same truths that we get to claim today because of the New Covenant.


We get all of those things. We're grafted into it as believers, as those in Christ. So go throughout your day, look around at what's going on, at the little things, and realize if God is over those things and He's over everything that I'm doing. Everything.


Now, whether you are a Christian or not, He is over all of it. Let's be very clear, just because people are not in Christ does not mean that God is not sovereign over them. It's by His mercy and by His grace that He allows them to be living. Of course, it's the same for us as well. Whether we are in Christ or not, God is over everything. Now what's amazing is if you are in Christ, you get to realize that you get to believe it and you get to see how glorious it is. It's not constraining, it's freeing. It's amazing.


So, anyway, I challenge you to go look to the Bible. Look at these verses. See the way that the disciples devote themselves to God, devote themselves to the sovereignty of God, and believe it. Go find other verses in the Bible that talk about sovereignty. I mean, there are so many. I'm going to be talking about this much more in this podcast.


Anyway, this was a shorter episode because it was a very foundational, but very simple truth. God is sovereign over everything. It's simple, but also incredibly complex when you really think about what that means.


As I said, I want to talk about it more, but I hope that you guys enjoyed this episode. Thank you guys for listening (or reading). I will see you all in the next one.

Related Scriptures

Related Topics

Other Posts