Let his days be few; and let another take his office.
There is a fearful light, as it were, around the Apostleship of Matthias. We cannot think of him without recalling his memory who went before. Surely, we imagine, he must have gone about the work of an apostle With a fear and trembling which even Peter never knew.
1. It is remarkable that the sin of Judas was amongst those particulars of the life and sorrows of the Saviour of the world which were not obscurely predicted in the Old Testament. He was placed upon his trial; a certain position given him, a position of vast privileges. These Scriptures were amongst the means vouchsafed to enable him to maintain his station in the spiritual world, and finish the work given him to do. Now, the state of Judas thus viewed is a very correct type of our own. Consider for a moment the Christian Church itself. It stands indeed to the Jewish race, as Matthias to Iscariot. The Israelites were the first called to be God's special servants; to them was the commission given to keep alive the remembrance of His name, to make His praise to be glorious. They betrayed the trust; they adhered not to His worship; they gave His honour to another; they stoned His prophets; they rejected His Son! And then went forth the decree, "Let their days be few, and let another take their office." There is a voice from the past to the present, from the old Israel to the new, which bids us not be high minded, but fear, as those who fill a traitor's place. And when we extend our thoughts from the Christian Church to the whole human race, we find the same to hold good. There is much to confirm the idea, that the creation of man had its origin in the fall of Satan and his angels. Before us is now placed the choice which ages ago was given to Satan and his legions — the choice whether in sincerity and truth we will be the servants of the Son of God. We are on our trial now, as they were before the pillars of the earth were set up; but with this advantage, that like Judas, who sinned after their manner, we have warnings against the consequences of rebellion. He with the example of their sin and punishment, fell into the same sin, viz. the disowning the Only Begotten. We, with his example also, are called to stand where they stood, and exhibit the obedience which they withheld.
2. But there are deducible from the foregoing remarks, certain truths touching our relation to God.
(1) For example, we learn in a most striking manner from what has been advanced, the sureness with which God's will is accomplished, sooner or later. God has no need of our services; He requires not our obedience; our very sins help on His designs. If we are obedient, He will work through us; if disobedient, He equally bends us to His purpose; or it may be, blots us out of the book of the living, and calls others into existence to do that which we refused; and all without the least pause in the majestic march of His providence. If we resist, it costs Him nothing to say, "Let another take His office."(2) Again, we cannot but press upon you the wonderful uniformity of the test to which God has subjected all His creatures; the test is simply, loyalty to the Only Begotten Son. There are but two kingdoms, the kingdom of light and the kingdom of darkness; but two monarchs, the Lord Jesus, upon the right hand of the Father, and the outcast archangel, in the fiery abyss. And all choice between good and evil, right and wrong, is a choice between these.
(Bishop Wood ford.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Let his days be few; and let another take his office.