Monday, May 4, 2009

Eeny Meeny Miney Mo...This is the way God wants me to Go!

Continued conversation on "Gambling God's Will"
Although I understand drawing comparisons between voting and drawing lots, I don't know that these are equal comparisons.

In Joshua, it is clear that the people really believe that God's will is revealed through casting lots. Some of my fellow classmates have pointed out that casting lots was viewed as a "fair" way to make decisions. However, I am not sure that I would say this is true in democratic voting process.

In casting lots, it was a "game" or "method' of chance. The outcomes happened randomly. Of course, the Israelites believed that God ordained the outcomes, but there was still no human influence on what these outcomes would be. (besides drawing the stone, or something like that). In voting, each person does influence the outcome of the election. And, even if we are to say God's desires are revealed through voting like the Israelites believed through casting lots, we would also have to admit that humans have free will. The individual could reject God's leading and vote according to his or her own desires. Thus, in my opinion, voting does not seem to be as open to God's divine leading as casting lots would be.

Back to Joshua, it is true that the Israelites did not use casting lots on every decision. However, it is interesting to note the decisions that they did make. In Joshua 7, for instance, although it does not literally say "casting lots," it does say that "the lot marked" this tribe...clan..familiy. In this case, it seems that casting lots did lead to the exact household that was guilty. The chances of this happening randomly are quite slim. It seems that God did use casting lots to reveal his divine will in this case.

I would agree that God does not have specific plans marked out for us all the time. And really, there are times when we just need to make decisions. But I would also say that there are times in Joshua when YHWH speaks his will, and others times where casting lots is used to reveal God's desires. Although I would not go so far as to say that casting lots always reveals God's will, I still have to ask how we should interpret such a practice.

In Joshua, whose role was it to decide whether they should wait to hear from God, or to cast lots? And again, how are we supposed to know today whether we should wait or decide?

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