Jonah 1:7 ~ And they said every one to his fellow, Come, and let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this evil is upon us. So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah.
When Jonah refused to go to Ninevah to preach the gospel as the Lord had asked a “whale” of a story followed! But the reality of it was, how many people died outside salvation in Ninevah while Noah was rebelling against God? One was too many…
The practice of casting lots was common of the day; every decision was from the Lord and when the lot was properly used, the answer was not a matter of chance but came from God. Because we now have the Holy Spirit dwelling within us the lots are no longer necessary, however the answer is still not a matter of chance.
Proverbs 16:33 says “The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord.” I have to wonder if this is not where the phrase “It just fell into my lap” came from, when in truth nothing just “falls” into your lap without the divine providence of God either directing it there, or allowing it. It is then our task to determine the direction to go.
My lap is often full of decisions. I sometimes fear a boatload of Tarshish immigrants will pass by the shores of Calhoun County and declare “Throw her overboard. The troubles we’re in are her fault! It’s a habit in my life to assume responsibility for something that was not within my control. Yes… it’s crazy, but it’s my lot.
The point I want to make here is this, “No decision is allowed to come into our lives that God’s not a part of. He either allowed it or created it, either of which was designed to send us in His direction for the answer. There are times I wish the practice of casting lots was still an option, a “yes” or “no” answer would be helpful. But what a decision requires, where it be big or small is prayer and lots of it. Reading the Word of God and allowing the Holy Spirit to minister our soul.
Jonah made a mistake, it wasn’t fatal but it had a nasty repercussion. Imagine being in the belly of that great fish for three days! What would be going through your mind? Just kill me already! I’ll bet he did some serious soul searching then. It was all a part of the plan…
For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
God was not caught off guard by Jonah’s rebellion. He expected it. I’m sure God would have much preferred if upon telling Jonah to go to Ninevah, he replied, “I’ll pack by bags and be out the door in the shake of a dog’s tail.” But being that wasn’t his answer and God used that too. He used Jonah’s act of rebellion as an example of God’s ultimate redemption. He said I’ll show you that way back there in 786-746 BC that I knew you’d mess up in 2013 AD, so 2000 years ago, I died on that cross of Calvary, they placed Me in the tomb and in three days I came forth too! But not as whale puke, like Jonah. No, I came forth victorious. Satan thought he won, until I knocked on his door and said I’ve come for the keys of death, hell and the grave. Revelation 1:18
Decisions are rough. We can’t cast lots, and sometimes we’re not nearly as in tune with God as we should be, but isn’t it great to know that God’s got it all worked into the plan. He can use even our mistakes to bring glory to his name. Amen!