"The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord." Proverbs 16:33
What a remarkable verse this is! And how sweeping the ramifications! Back in Bible times, the casting of lots was used to make decisions. It was very much like flipping a coin or rolling the dice in our day. The device is thrown from the hand and cannot be controlled. The person who throws it is severing the tie to the outcome, leaving it to random chance to determine what will happen. In our scientific day, we could see scientists studying the neurological pathways that govern the technique of the wrist, as well as other factors worth investigating: the weight of the dice, spin factors, atmospheric factors, material science, temperature, etc.
But the Bible doesn’t address all of these. It ascribes every motion of the lot (dice) to the sovereign will of God. Every time the dice lands one or six, it is because God wanted it that way. Literally nothing is random. Once this biblical fact sinks in, it begins to stagger our minds. Some folks might find it scary, eerie, to live in a world in which nothing is left to chance. Everything has been predestined, and God exerts invisible forces on physical things to make certain his wise plan is carried out. Ephesians 1:11 teaches us this: “In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will.” Everything?? Yes, everything!!
Nothing can be left to “chance,” whatever that is. God knows better than we can possibly understand about how much tiny things matter. In a universe made up of infinitesimally small atoms, God knows that history is also made up of infinitesimally small events which join together to produce outcomes. “Luck” or “chance” cannot intervene, as though there were some powerful current in the ocean of history that God does not understand and cannot govern. It cannot be.
"God isn’t constantly in a reactive state to luck or chance, able to make lemonade out of the unexpected lemons luck hands him. God is actively working everything out after the counsel of his will."
This means that there are no chance encounters at airports. There are no chance timings on traffic lights. There are no unlucky bounces in the ballgame or on the golf course. There are no “accidents” anywhere as though there are some things that had a purpose and other things that didn’t. God isn’t constantly in a reactive state to luck or chance, able to make lemonade out of the unexpected lemons luck hands him. God is actively working everything out after the counsel of his will.
So, the next time you play a game with friends, and that game involves dice, keep this verse in mind. God wanted the winner to win and the losers to lose. Why? Heaven alone will unfold the details. But instead of being creeped out by such overwhelming intentionality, we should praise God for his wisdom and power. And we should stop saying “Good luck!” to anyone. Come up with a more biblically accurate phrase!