Casting lots

Jonah: Lesson 3

The Casting of Lots (Jonah 1:7)

The sailors were at their wits end. They did not know what to do. They recognized that this storm was supernatural. They recognized that it was a judgment from God for some crime. The only way they could think of how to identify the culprit was to cast lots among themselves.

In the Old Testament, many people frequently resorted to the casting of lots in order to ascertain the will of God. Examples can be seen in the following: Achan, David as king, the way Joshua divided the land by lot, the duties of the priests and how they were determined by lot, and the way singers were chosen by lot. God gave Israel a method of determining His will since they had incomplete revelation. It was called the Urim and Thummin. These were two stones that were kept in the pocket of the High Priest’s breastplate.

It is generally agreed that these two stones were colored black and white. When the will of God was to be sought, the High Priest would reach into this pouch to ascertain God’s will by picking out one of these stones, either the Urim or the Thummin. It is thought that the white meant “Yes,” and the black, “No.” Is this how we have to ascertain God’s will today? The answer is, emphatically, NO! We have the full revelation of the will of God. Because that which is perfect has come, we have no more need for additional revelation, like signs and wonders, miracles and dreams, and visions and tongues. We have no need for Urim and Thummin. We now have the will of God from the Word of God.

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