Revelation by Lots?
NCW 17, March 1995
Q. In the Book of Acts it says that the apostle chosen to replace Judas Iscariot was dselected by "casting lots" or by "throwing dice" (Ac.1:26, Living Bible). This seems to be a rather crude, almost pagan, way of choosing an apostle of the Lord, doesn't it?
The use of rocks or sticks to designate the choice of someone was common in Bible times (1 Chr.26:13-16; Neh.11:1; Jonah 1:7). Lots were usually made out of small stones or pieces of wood. Sometimes arrows were used (Ezek.21:21). These marked objects were drawn from a receptacle into which they had been cast. What is clear, though, is no matter how "primitive" a method this was that the Lord actually used it on several occasions (see Josh.17:14-26; 1 Sam.14:38-44; Prov.16:33).
The selection of the apostle Matthias was, however, the last time lots were used as a method of revelation. Quite soon afterwards the Holy Spirit fell upon the believers on the Day of Penetecost and an altogether higher order of spiritual communion and revelation was usshered into the Christian community. Thereafter we find elders and other officers of the Christian congregations selected by revelation given directly to the mind and the heart, as was the more common method used by the prophets in the Old Testament. This time, however, everyone born again of the Holy Spirit was entitled to such revelation as and when required by God.
There is no place for the casting of lots in the Christian dispensation which borders precariously closely on divination. God operates through many outer forms of communication when faith and holiness are present.
This page was created on 2 May 1998
Last updated on 2 May 1998
Copyright © 1987-2008 NCCG - All Rights Reserved