And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.…
When two courses are open to a man, and he is in doubt as to the election of either of them, why should he not, after due religious preparation, involving as this must the entire subordination of his will to God, risk the decision of the case on the casting of lots? Is there anything in such a course inconsistent with the simplicity of the Christian religion? The man, it is presumed, is most deeply anxious to know what God would have him do; he is willing to make any sacrifice the Divine will may impose on him, and however the decision may oppose his own choice he is prepared to accept it. Under such circumstances surely the lot may be used with advantage. But everything depends upon the spirit of the inquirer. For he may almost unconsciously manipulate the lot so as to gratify a wish he would hardly confess even to himself. In almost all cases of doubt, the perplexed man has more or less of a choice. At that point the battle has to be fought. The man has a leaning towards a certain course, yet he would not pursue it if he knew it to be opposed to the Divine will; at the same time he would be most thankful were the lot to confirm his secret bias. That man is not prepared to go to the lot until he has divested himself of every suggestion of his own will. We are not prepared to teach that upon every occasion we should turn the decisions of our life upon the casting of lots. We are not prepared to condemn their use, thus guarded, in very special cases of difficulty.
(J. Parker, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.