11/03/T – Casting Lots

2 Samuel 20:14-26; Acts 1:15-26; Psalms 120:1-7; Proverbs 26:28

NT: “In those days Peter stood up among the brothers and sisters — the number of people who were together was about a hundred twenty — and said, “Brothers and sisters, it was necessary that the Scripture be fulfilled that the Holy Spirit through the mouth of David foretold about Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus. For he was one of our number and shared in this ministry… For it is written in the Book of Psalms: Let his dwelling become desolate; let no one live in it; and Let someone else take his position. Therefore, from among the men who have accompanied us during the whole time the Lord Jesus went in and out among us — beginning from the baptism of John until the day he was taken up from us — from among these, it is necessary that one become a witness with us of his resurrection.” So they proposed two: Joseph, called Barsabbas, who was also known as Justus, and Matthias. Then they prayed, “You, Lord, know everyone’s hearts; show which of these two you have chosen to take the place in this apostolic ministry that Judas left to go where he belongs.” Then they cast lots for them, and the lot fell to Matthias and he was added to the eleven apostles.” (‭‭Acts‬ ‭1:15-17, 20-26‬ ‭CSB)

It is interesting to see the process that the disciples/apostles went through to 1) determine that they needed to replace Judas, and 2) who to replace him with. Keep in mind, this entire scenario played out before they had been baptized with the Holy Spirit. First, they sought the scriptures. Peter was reminded of excerpts from Psalm 69 and Psalm 109 that suggested that they needed to have someone take the place of the one who betrayed the Lord. Then, they used conventional wisdom and common sense to determine that the replacement should be someone who had been with them and traveled faithfully with them from the beginning. That limited the field of candidates down to two people: Justus and Matthias. After that, they prayed and asked the Lord to show them who it should be. At that point, they came to the end of their resources and “rolled the dice,” trusting that the Lord would intervene and cause the lots to fall to the person He had chosen. Casting Lots was a common practice when the need for a decision was met with an impasse. Casting Lots took the onus of making the decision off the people involved and left it to God-directed chance. Once the Apostles were baptized and filled with the Holy Spirit, you never saw them casting lots again… for they had the Holy Spirit to guide them into all truth and reveal God’s will to them. Can you know the will of God? Yes, you can. Paul tells us in Romans 12, that if we offer ourselves sacrificially before the Lord and allow ourselves to be aligned with God’s ways and purposes instead of the worlds ways, God will renew our minds and give us the ability to know and prove out what His good, acceptable, and perfect will is… and He does that through the indwelling Holy Spirit. As Spirit-filled believers, we don’t have to lay out fleeces, or cast lots, or flip a coin, or wait for a door to close, etc., etc. We can ask the Lord for clarity and expect Him to reveal His will… as long as we are not seeking our own agenda, and are completely submitted to His in faith.

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