Lots And Ballots | The Institute for Creation Research
Lots And Ballots

"The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord" (Proverbs 16:33).

Making a choice by casting lots seems strange to many today-too much like gambling or guessing. An important choice should require careful study of facts and possible consequences, not mere chance.

But how about prayer? Presumably the Biblical lot-casting was to be guided by God in answer to prayer. At least that was the case in one important instance when the disciples wanted someone to replace Judas. "And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen. . . . And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles" (Acts 1:24,26).

It is interesting that today, when we vote in an election, this process is called "casting ballots." The term "ballot" came from an Italian word "ballotte," referring to the small "balls" which were used in casting lots in earlier times. Thus a "ballot" originally seems to have been merely a lot-ball.

So, in a sense, we still "cast lots," whatever type of process may be employed. In any case, it is still important for it to be preceded by prayer. God's choice may not always be what we want. After all, "the powers that be are ordained of God" (Romans 13:1), and we had best never forget that "the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever He will, and setteth up over it the basest of men" (Daniel 4:17).

The term "lot" itself, whether referring to a parcel of land, or to one's calling in life, or some other type of "allotment" evidently had its origin in the practice of lot-casting. In any case, all such decisions or divisions should be preceded and followed by sincere prayer, trusting God's will to be the over-ruling result. HMM

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