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.
The election of this new member was not random, even though it might appear as such in the text. They used a (culturally) very common method to go before the Lord to ask for His choice. In their prayer, they acknowledged His understanding of their hearts and asked for His answer to be made known.
What a great lesson for us! All of us, in many moments in our lives, have made the mistake of making bad decisions based on incorrect motivations or intentions. Those bad decisions have left us to suffer the consequences and to regret them later. Scripture includes this reminder, but also good news! Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately sick; who can understand it?” However, when we acknowledge before God that we have this deceitful and sick heart, He forgives us–thanks to His Son Jesus. He gives us peace in our forgiven-ness and guides us to move on in our lives.
My God, in your great mercy, have compassion for me. In your infinite goodness, erase my sin, make in me a clean heart, and renew my spirit. Amen.