The Last Time for Lots

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A roll of the dice, a casting of lots

Several years ago, I was between jobs and thought I’d “cast a fleece” similar to what Gideon did. (Judges 6:36–40)

I had been out of vocational ministry for several years and wondered if I should pursue a “secular” job or a “church” job. I had just begun the preparation for a retreat I would attend in a month and part of our prep was to read through the book of Acts. I read today’s Bible reading* and thought, why not just “cast lots” to see what God would say through the dice? After all, Proverbs 16:33 says, The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD. (CSB)

At the time, we had a lot of family games in a game table in our den. I grabbed a handful of dice. As I shook the dice, I voiced a quick prayer, “If there are more odd than even dice, then God’s telling me I’m supposed to go back into the ministry. If more even than odd dice, then I’m supposed to look for a “secular” job.

The results blew my mind. Now, this isn’t a preacher’s story. This is the truth!

Of the fourteen dice I had thrown, seven were even and seven were odd! Dumbfounded, I followed Gideon’s plan and reversed the test. “If there are more even than odd dice, then I’m supposed to look for a church position. If more odd than even dice, then I’m supposed to look for a “secular” job. Again, I threw out the dice. Again, there were seven even and seven odd dice.

As I considered the enormous odds of fourteen dice — thrown twice — coming up half odd and half even, I felt God was asking me why I thought no one cast lots after Acts Chapter One.

The answer is: Because Acts Chapter Two follows. So what happens in Acts Chapter Two? We’ll see tomorrow! Check back then!


Casting lots or throwing dice was a common practice for determining God’s will in the Old Testament days. But we don’t read of anyone determining God’s will with lots after Matthias was chosen to replace Judas as one of the Twelve.

If you have a serious decision to make, how do you go about determining God’s will? Do you roll the dice? Do you toss coins? Do you cast a fleece as Gideon did?

Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice, I know them, and they follow me.” John 10:27 (CSB)

Are you one of Jesus’ sheep? If you are, you can hear Him speak. It may take some time, but you can actually learn to listen to His voice. Yes, really!

Spend a few minutes today asking God to tune your ears to His voice. Then spend time in God’s Word. That’s where you will hear Him speak most clearly. So plan to read a lot in order to hear His voice.

Trust Him to speak. And ask Him to connect you with someone a little further down the road in their walk with Christ to help you to hear His voice more clearly each day.

* Today we are reading Acts 1.

This devotional was originally published on January 23, 2020.

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