Casting Lots | The Institute for Creation Research

Casting Lots

“And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles” (Acts 1:26).

This is the only instance in the New Testament where Christians are said to have “cast lots” in order to make a choice. This particular choice involved a very important question: Which of two apparently equally qualified men should be selected to take Judas’ place among the twelve apostles? It is significant that before the lots were cast, they all prayed and asked the Lord to indicate His choice (Acts 1:24), “and the lot fell upon Matthias” (text).

Casting lots apparently was very common in ancient nations among both Israelites and Gentiles. The practice is mentioned at least 88 times in the Old Testament and eight other times in the New Testament (six of which refer to the casting of lots by the Roman soldiers for Jesus’ vesture as He was being crucified). The first mention of the practice is found in connection with the offering of two goats on the Day of Atonement, the one to be sacrificed; the other to carry away, as it were, the sins of the people into the wilderness (Leviticus 16:8). On the pagan use of the practice, see, for example, Jonah 1:7 and Esther 3:7.

The “lot” could have been any object used to make a choice. In recent centuries in Europe, small balls of different colors began to be used, and this practice came to be known as “casting ballots.” The latter term eventually came to be practically synonymous with voting—whatever method was used to “cast” one’s vote.

In any case, it is important to note that the Bible’s single mention of this practice by Christians indicates that it was preceded by earnest prayer for the Lord to reveal His will, not merely the preference of the one voting. We also always should seek earnestly the Lord’s leading in any choice we are called on to make in any election. HMM

The Latest
NEWS
Geneticist Fired for Affirming Humans Once Lived 900 Years?
Geneticist Alexander Kudryavtsev, the head of the Russian Academy of Science’s Vavilov Institute of General Genetics, has been fired, reportedly...

ACTS & FACTS
Creation Kids: Solar Eclipses
Designed by Susan Windsor* You're never too young to be a creation scientist and explore our Creator's world. Kids, discover fun facts...

APOLOGETICS
Motmot's Beauty Displays God’s Gracious Design
Beauty is God’s good gift. Whatever is truly good and beautiful comes from God (James 1:17), whose own beauty is beyond words. King David longed...

ACTS & FACTS
Eclipses: The Handiwork of Jesus Christ
Many remarkable events have occurred over the past 50+ years of the Institute for Creation Research’s ministry, but one of the most exciting is...

ACTS & FACTS
Dolomite Problem Best Solved by Flood
Dolomite is a very common sedimentary rock, comprising about 30% of all carbonate rocks.1,2 Its chemical formula is MgCa(CO3)2, whereas the...

ACTS & FACTS
RNA Editing: Adaptive Genome Modification on the Fly
When the workings of the genome were first being discovered, the central evolutionary dogma of molecular biology claimed that genetic information passes...

ACTS & FACTS
Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve: Colossal Ice Age...
The tallest sand dunes in North America are found in Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, located on the eastern edge of the San Luis Valley...

ACTS & FACTS
Why Biology Needs a Theory of Biological Design – Part 1
Anyone who watches American football has observed a predictable inconsistency. When a pass is caught extremely close to the sideline, everyone with...

DAYS OF PRAISE DEVOTIONALS
Spring 2024
...

NEWS
Is There Evidence for a Creator?
Contrary to what some scientists claim, there is compelling philosophical and scientific evidence that a Creator of the universe exists. For example,...