Questions & Answers
The Holy One
Therefore He also says in another Psalm, 'THOU WILT NOT ALLOW THY HOLY ONE TO UNDERGO DECAY.' Acts 13:35
My friend A,
I'm glad you asked about Holy One because this is another one of those backwardly viewed concepts. What I mean is that the most common views of "Holy One" is that it simply refers to Jesus, and so therefore, when we read it in the OT writings we just retrofit the meaning, thinking to update the proper understanding. Now, I have no problem with the truth that Jesus IS the Holy One, but as you are suggesting, the original statement IS referring to David as being God's "anointed", or "holy one". When we retrofit such a concept as this, we may think we are being more doctrinally accurate and are attributing more understanding to who Jesus is, but we only end up stunting the living connections.
Hey, I have had a lot of experience in the Stunted-Growth department ... I think I am an expert in the field. Considering that "X" is an unknown quantity, and "spurt" is a drip under pressure, I definitely qualify!
It's very important to follow the experiential infusion of the reality of "anointing" and "holy" within the consciousness of God's people. When God "chose" a person for something He infused His desire with an outward validation. By having His chosen man declared by pouring oil on his head, the ritual became synonymous as being one and the same in the minds of the people. The anointing became an unquestioned statement of truth so that whoever got slimed by oil could not be viewed as an ordinary man, but as God's anointed. This visualization of God's validation is so powerful that it has spread throughout the world to probably every society in some form or another.
This is the understanding behind the meaning of "holy" as well. When some one or some thing was designated as belonging to God, then it was regarded in a totally new sense. The "quality" of the person, place, or thing was not the determining factor in this regard, only that it had been declared by a visual statement that it now was the possession of God. The word "holy" comes from a word that means "set apart". The sense of this set-apart-ness was that which had been built into the minds of the people. A man may have been some ordinary schmuck who was not at all popular, but all of a sudden there came to be a whole new identity put upon him. And it made no difference if the set-apart item was a gold plaque or even a dish rag, it was not considered ordinary from that moment on.
All of this was embedded into the psyche of the people of God so that the one who was the embodiment of God's true desire and of man's true hope would be yearned after. Something within the emptiness of man knows there is no satisfaction in that which is only a shadow of reality. Outside of God's fulfillment our expectations never found what was lacking, but in the one who is the summing up of all things there is completion and satisfaction.
To realize that David referred to himself as being "God's anointed" or as God's "holy one" is only scratching the surface of the whole reality. When Jesus was anointed, he was declared to all Israel as the one who was the reality behind all the shadows and expectations of their whole existence. It is now IN HIM that we understand that we are also COMPLETE because HE is our completeness. We are fulfilled because HE is our fulfillment. We are anointed because HIS Spirit is our anointing. We are holy because HIS life has set us apart from the emptiness of our old existence and has made us alive toward God.
Now, my opinion on the whole scene in Acts 1 where they chose a replacement for Judas is that they were taking something upon themselves merely for the sake of fixing something that wasn't broken. God had other plans, for His choice of Saul of Tarsus would be made years from that time. Paul later referred to this choice to the Corinthians.
...and last of all, as it were to one untimely born, He appeared to me also. 1 Corinthians 15:8
It's rather odd that not one word was ever mentioned about Matthias (no, not Matthew) after their selection was made by tossing the dice. It took Peter, James and John a few years before they really accepted Paul as one of their number. So, I won't even try to vouch for Peter's use of the scripture to support their attempt. And don't overlook the fact that this event took place before the Spirit was given to them. I think they were really bumbling around before that reality took place!!
As to the other references in Acts 13, you may want to reconsider them in view of the shadows and the reality. There is no sense in which these prophecies are any less true about David himself just because Jesus is the summing up of all things ... including David.