Proverbs in 365 Devotions
Proverbs 18:18 The lot puts an end to quarrels and decides between powerful contenders. 19 A brother offended is more unyielding than a strong city, and quarreling is like the bars of a castle.
To cast lots is not the same as gambling. However it was a bit like rolling dice. From what I gathered, one way lots were cast was that a single black stone was added into a handful of white stones and cast. Another was when markings were put on sticks or stones and cast on the ground. They were then interpreted depending on how they fell and for what kind of decision was being made. Casting lots has been used throughout history to make decisions when people are so distraught that they do not have an inkling of what to choose. It has also been used to settle severe disputes when two parties agree to the outcome beforehand. In that respect it was a bit like drawing straws I think.
I suspect that of all the almost 8 billion people in the world no two agree about every single issue. And when there are matters so important such that relate to Gods word we have to decide how to approach disagreements.
People can agree to the casting of lots to settle disagreements but even when they do it does not mean they will now agree on what is truth… It usually just means they will agree to disagree without fighting. One party will back down and give up having the last word and they can shake hands… In these kinds of disagreements why not agree beforehand not to save face… let us state our beliefs and shake hands and forget all the fighting. In matters of God we should be able to agree that we need not save face for ourselves. We don’t have to be right for our own sake. And so lets just let Gods word have the last say and go ahead and shake hands and love one another.
After we have communicated sure truth the other disagreeing party may need to dwell long on them… Sometime truth takes time to be pondered before it sinks in… God is the reveler of truth… He is the one who shines his light in our heart and internalizes the knowledge of his glory to us…. Our job is to proclaim in love.
Yes, state the truth… take a firm unmovable stand but do not cause a brother to be defensive in the flesh. Come into a conversation with a willingness to agree to disagree and still love one another in Christ.
So while agreeing to disagree is not the same as casting lots… it accomplishes one of the things that casting lots does… it settles difficult disputes beforehand.
In many societies throughout history, people would disagree without severing their friendship. Even today, many good friends thrive on discussion and discourse by stating their exposition of truth in an exchange of views. It can be healthy and not only that… if we are not easily offended we can all grow in our knowledge of the truth while honing our communication skills.
Still, there are plenty of times… especially in todays culture that people are easily offended. We need to come to an agreement that, at those times something like the “lot” in our text is needed. It talks about one of the most difficult offenses in human relationship and that is with those in our own family… Solomon refers to “a brother offended” as being more unyielding than a strong city.
One type of lot we might cast is a token of friendship. A mark, a symbol, a badge, a marker… something that lands on and points directly at the other person saying I am choosing you to be my friend no matter how much we disagree.
And let it say… that we don’t have to be seen as the winner in this debate.. Let God show us both the truth in his way and time… but lets keep seeking truth and keep fellowshipping and discussing… keep loving God and one another.
And so as believers we could cast lots in a sense that point to us both which declare neither are winners in ourselves but let Jesus be the winner.. Let him have the last word and let him show us his truth in his time. Yes… lets keep discussing but not defensively.