It must have been quite a scene: more than a hundred (1.15) joyously and energetically proclaiming the mighty works of God (2.11). The scene was such that some onlookers thought the heralds were all drunk, even though it was around 9am (2.13, 15). Most Jews of the day, apparently, would neither eat nor drink anything until after this time, when morning prayers were finished. The idea of being drunk at 9am, then, was all but impossible.
Into this cacophony Peter stands as representative of the twelve apostles (v.14) and puts away the idea that the people are drunk (v.15). He then gives context to this spectacular move of the Spirit by using the Word, by using Scripture. So often the Word and the Spirit are painted as opposites: either you’re full of the Spirit or you know the Word. The Spirit of God and the Word of God are not mutually exclusive, they work together beautifully. Peter knew the Word and used it to explain, in part, what was happening. I love what David Guzik wrote about this:
“This focus on God’s Word did not quench the moving of the Holy Spirit; it fulfilled what the Holy Spirit wanted to do. All the signs and wonders and speaking in tongues were preparing for this work of God’s Word.
Unfortunately, some people set the Word against the Spirit. They almost think it’s more spiritual if there is no Bible study. Sadly, this is often due to the weak and unspiritual teaching of some who teach the Bible”.
In Joel 2, the passage Peter references, we see that everyone would have unbridled access to the Spirit of God in ways that would be new, joyous, and energetic (2.28-32). Peter knew the Word and used it to explain what was happening around him. He knew that Jesus had brought with Him the season referred to as the last days. Peter knew that the Spirit would be poured out on all flesh, that everyone would therefore speak of the mighty works of God. Peter knew what was happening around Him, Peter knew how to explain the miraculous moves of the Spirit because Peter knew the Word.
The same principle is true for you. If we are looking around at our lives and wondering what God is doing, maybe we feel that something is moving and happening but we don’t know what, the first place we should turn is the Word. If we want to know how to explain what the Spirit is doing in our lives and why, like Peter, we need to be people of the Word.