The cast lot puts an end to strife and decides between the mighty ones. Proverbs 18:18
How can casting a lot actually help people make decisions? This is akin to making a major decision by drawing straws! Are we going to make a decision concerning justice by seeing who gets the short straw? This seems ludicrous by normal standards - yet for those who know God and who trust His sovereignty and ability to control all providential history - this is not too far a stretch.
Today's proverb is not about making all your decisions in life. It is about a situation where there is strife - and where there is disagreement between what the Bible calls - "mighty ones." So we see that this is not speaking of every decision we make, but rather ones where there is disagreement between people who are either fighting with each other or who are very powerful. The first group needs the lot because their anger is keeping them from thinking rationally or wisely. The second may be so powerful that they do not have anyone else influential enough to deal with their problem. In both cases this would refer to those who know the Lord and trust Him to deal in their situation. The lost and the ungodly would just scoff at something like this - yet even in their case such a trusting practice would yield the right decision. When you read this you might wonder if I've lost my mind. How could I trust something as random as casting a lot to make a "right" decision?
The meat of this proverb lies in your understanding of Who is in charge of all matters of providence. It also lies in whether you believe in random chance or not when it comes to the affairs of men. The Christian knows that God is ultimately sovereign over all things - including what happens when you cast a lot. His superceding, divine providence rules over everything. Therefore when two people are too blinded by strife to decide a matter - they can submit to the lot for a decision from God. When two mighty men are struggling with a decision they can trust that God will direct them properly by surrendering to His divine choice in the matter of the lot.
Think about this for a moment if you are still incredulous about the lot making decisions. God found Achan among all the millions of Israel with the lot. When he had stolen something from Jericho that had been devoted to destruction, he hid it from God and from the entire congregation. Yet God, when He needed to "out" Achan - did so by having lots drawn to find him. Consider Jonathan, who did not realize he had sinned against his father's vow to God. But when he needed to be singled out - God did so by casting lots. How did the Lord do this? He did it by being a God Who is omniscient - Who knows all things that are known - or can ever be known. He is also a God who is omnipotent - Whose power can do all things. Therefore we can trust Him - even when trusting Him means appealing to His providence - even in drawing lots. Ultimately it is a trust in His ability to work all things for His glory and our good.
It is wise for those locked in strife and conflict to turn to God with their troubles. Even if these troubles seem unanswerable, God can provide the answer for them. Drawing lots to make a decision in what seems to be an unanswerable circumstance is very wise - because it trusts God to end the strife and the problem for His glory. Continuing in these things will not glorify God. Therefore a decision needs to be made. If both parties will trust Him - they will watch as God puts an end to the difficulty - and those who see it will be amazed at the way God's people will put aside their difficulties for the ultimate gain of even His providential direction. That is trusting God.
Proverb a Day
Each day, we'll take a look at a verse from the chapter of Proverbs for the day. Our hope is to gain wisdom each day - and from that wisdom - to have understanding to make godly decisions in the throes of everyday life.
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