Lots and Dice

“We may throw the dice, but the Lord determines how they fall” (Proverbs 16:33)

It is estimated that over two million Hebrews entered the Promised Land following their deliverance from Egypt.  Once they arrived at the land flowing with milk and honey, they had some difficult obstacles to deal with.  Things like formidable enemies as well as wild animals.  They also had some tough decisions to make.  Decisions like which tribe would receive what portion of land for their inheritance.  Can you imagine the magnitude of confusion among the leaders who had to sort that out?  However, God had a solution for their dilemma.  He directed their leader Joshua to “cast lots for them at Shiloh in the presence of the Lord, and then distribute the land to the Israelites according to their tribal divisions.” (Joshua 18:10).  Lots were most likely small flat stones or sticks of various lengths that were thrown.  Sort of like flipping a coin or rolling the dice.  Lots were also used in Scripture to help the people determine the divine will of God. 

Lots are a picture of something happening by chance.  Sometimes the events that happen in our lives and in the world seem like they happen by chance, and we cannot see God’s purpose in them.  Think of circumstances in your life that may have taken place ten, twenty, thirty years ago, that to this day still leave you wondering why.  Circumstances and people who came into your life and then vanished as quickly and secretly as they entered.  Reflect on the sorrows that have pained your heart.  The joys that have brought a smile to your face and laughter to your soul.  Think of the disappointments that have cluttered your path in life.  The dreams you have dreamed, that never came to fruition.  The dreams that burst on the scene into glorious reality.   

The question we are left with is – why?  Why did these events and people cross my path?  Why did what I wanted to happen not happen?  Why did amazing and unexpected things happen in my life?  Why has God placed me where he has placed me?  If you and I are following Christ, everything in our life, even things that look like they don’t make sense, are things that move and work together in God to bring about His promises in our lives.  We may think we are in control, throwing the dice to take a chance on our hopes and desires, but ultimately it is the Lord who “determines how they fall.”

If we are going to trust Jesus Christ with our lives, we must believe that our portion in it is lovingly and meticulously planned and determined by Him.  We must believe that all things that happen in our lives are used for good – our good (Romans 8:28).  We must believe that God always fulfills his purposes for us. 

Like the Hebrews who entered the Promised Land of Israel, God will meticulously and lovingly apportion our inheritance in life.  So go ahead, throw those dice, but then stand aside and allow God to determine how they fall.