Esther 3: Casting Lots – Extra Notes for You
Whenever I think of rolling dice, I think ‘chance’. There isn’t any skill required in games like Yahtzee, Monopoly, or Sorry. A roll of the dice isn’t scientific. It is random chance mixed with probability.
Casting lots was a method of making decisions in Bible times.Casting lots was a method of making decisions in Bible times. Click To Tweet
The disciples cast lots to choose a replacement for Judas Iscariot after he betrays Jesus.
Roman Soldiers cast lots at the foot of the cross to see who got Jesus’ cloak.
And, in our story, Haman casts lots – or PUR – to decide a good time to annihilate the Jews.
Casting lots or PUR is done with small marked stones or bits of bone. Haman methodically rolls the dice to determine the date of death for every Jew living in the 127 provinces. Chosen seemingly by chance, but God’s hand is still on the outcome.
When the decree is dated on the 13th Day of of the first month, and sent by courier, every Jew would take notice. The 13th day of the first month is the night before the Passover.
What were they thinking?
The Jews were taken captive because of their disobedience. Years were spent in strange lands surrounded by their captors. Did they wonder if there were still in God’s favor? Were they still His people? Had God forgotten them?
And, by random chance a die is cast for their destruction by the enemy, Haman. By random chance it is dated and sent out. I wonder if their hearts turned to another night when Moses told them to stay in their homes, painted with blood on the doorways, so the Angel of Death would pass over and spare them?
Exodus 12 tells the Passover story. And in verse 14 it says, “this day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come…”
God spares His people from death, and He will do it again. Despite what chance seems to suggest. God’s hand is mighty to save.
The lot is cast in the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord. Proverbs 16:33
See you next time for Chapter 4 of Esther…
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