These were the Levites by their families. They also cast lots, the same as their kindred the sons of Aaron had done, in the presence of David the king, Zadok, Ahimelech, and the leaders of the priestly and Levitical families. The families of the oldest and youngest brothers were treated the same. 1 Chronicles 24:31 (MSG)
“Roll to see who goes first.”
How often have we said that when playing a game with family or friends? It’s a common practice to let fate decide the outcome, but the practice didn’t begin with Milton Bradley or Hasbro. The casting of lots took on different forms in different regions and cultures, but it was analagous to drawing straws, flipping a coin, or rolling a dice.
Journeying through God’s message, we find numerous times in which “lots” were cast to determine all sorts of things. Lots were cast on Jonah’s ship to determine who was responsible for the storm. Lots were cast by Jesus’ disciples to determine who would replace Judas Iscariot among the twelve. In today’s chapter we find lots being cast to determine the order of Levitical duties.
The main idea between casting lots was to take human judgement, favoritism, nepotism, or prejudice out of a decision. By casting lots, you were eliminating human influence on the outcome and giving the results up to God.
I wonder if we sometimes rely too heavily on human reason and judgement in certain decisions. Perhaps the casting of lots is, in some situations, a good practice.Creative Commons photo courtesy of Flickr and topher76