Pastor Ken Maxey: Morning Devotion 08/16/22
Tuesday, August 16, 2022
God Isn’t Playing Yahtzee – Joshua 13:7-33
Joshua 13:6b – “…only divide it by lot to Israel as an inheritance, as I have commanded you.”
From time to time our family enjoys playing board games like Uno, Clue, and yes even Monopoly. But one of our main go-to games is Yahtzee. There is a little bit of strategy, but there is definitely a whole lot of luck, good and bad, when it comes to the roll of the dice. Until that last dice settles, you have to hold your breath and hope by chance you’ll get a Yahtzee.
That image of playing Yahtzee is often what comes to mind when I read of “casting lots” in the Bible. Remarkably this phrase occurs 22 times (17x OT and 5x NT) in the New King James Version. Two of the more well-known occasions were when the sailors discovered Jonah was running from the Lord. The other when the soldiers were determining who would take Jesus’s tunic since it was all one piece without a seam. Interestingly enough, in both of those events, it was the Gentile casting lots, yet it was the Lord determining the outcome.
In Joshua 13 we read of a lesser known event where lots were cast. However, the outcome was vitally important and had enormous impact in setting the stage for where each tribe would live in the Promise Land. Imagine that moment as hundreds of thousands, possibly millions of people, waited to see where those tossed objects would determine where they, and generations to come, would dwell. It would have been an incredibly anxious time for the tribes and their leaders. But it didn’t need to be, because this was all being directed and guided by God. It was meant to be a moment of trust and not of chance.
In some ways I think we as followers of Christ look at our lives in the same manner when it comes to receiving guidance and blessings from the Lord. I know I’m guilty of this. Instead of relying on the promises of Jeremiah 29:11 (“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope”) I worry and fret trying to figure out how I can cause the dice of my future to roll the way I want them to.
Many times I seem to toss my prayers up to God and then hope everything I wanted falls into order as I see fit. But the reality is, God does not leave things up to chance. His sovereign plan is always in place, and it is up to us to be fully engaged in seeking it on a regular basis.
One of my favorite passages is Psalm 37:3-6.
Trust in the Lord, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass.
He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, And your justice as the noonday.
The Lord has an inheritance waiting for us in heaven, just like He did with the Israelites. But right now, it’s our turn to navigate through all the things of this earth and fight to the end. As long as we trust in Him, delight in Him, commit our ways to Him and feed on His faithfulness we’re going make it.
Always remember, we don’t need to cast lots, we just need to cast our cares on God as we go directly to Him for help, trusting that He’ll take care of us. That’ll beat a Yahtzee any day!
I pray you have a terrific Tuesday!