Chosen for Service by Casting Lots

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Picture of dice for making decisions, similar to the Biblical "casting lots"

In today’s Bible reading* David appoints Solomon as his successor. Some of the men are chosen by family lineage and some are chosen for specific service in the Temple by casting lots. (1 Chronicles 24:7, 25:9, 26:14)

So what is “casting lots”?

Casting lots was similar to throwing dice. And people would make decisions based on how the lot fell. (Luke 1:9)

The lot is cast into the lap,
but its every decision is from the Lord.

Proverbs 16:33 (CSB)

You may remember the story of soldiers casting lots for Jesus’ clothes as he hung naked on the cross. (John 19:24) This was to fulfill Psalm 22:18

The last time we see casting lots in the Bible was when the Disciples chose Matthias to replace Judas. (Acts 1:23–26) So why would we not see anyone cast lots after the first chapter of Acts? Because Acts 2 immediately follows chapter one.

In the second chapter of Acts, God fulfills Joel’s prophecy (Joel 2:28–32) that the Holy Spirit would be poured out on all kinds of people, not just special people. From this point forward, the Spirit would no longer rest on ordained people but would live in ordinary people. The people would no longer need to use external methods for determining God’s will because they had the internal witness of God’s Spirit. God’s covenant with His people had changed. God’s people experienced a different kind of relationship with Him.


We all make decisions. It might be nice to just give God a few options, throw some dice, and know God’s will. Well, that’s the way they used to do it. But God’s people no longer relate to God in that way.

Because of the New Covenant established in the blood of Jesus, (Luke 22:20) every Believer has access to God. No longer do God’s people need to go to prophets to know what God says. Jesus says that because of a new, intimate relationship with His people, we are able to hear his voice. (John 10:27–30)

The next time you need to make a decision, spend a few minutes asking God to guide your decision. Lay out the advantages and disadvantages of your choices. Pray some more. Ask God to lead you. May want to ask another Believer to give you some wise counsel and confirm what you are hearing. But know that God can speak to you. Know that God does speak to you.

Instead of casting lots to know God’s will,
just listen to God’s voice.

* Chapters covered in today’s reading:
– 1 Chronicles 23
– 1 Chronicles 24
– 1 Chronicles 25
– 1 Chronicles 26

This devotional was originally published on May 17, 2021.

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