Jonah 1:7 “Then the sailors said to each other, ‘Come, let us cast lots to find out who is responsible for this calamity.’ The cast lots and the let fell on Jonah.”
I’m not a big fan of gambling, and neither is my husband. But years ago, there was one particular member of our church who played the lottery regularly. He always assured us that if he won, he’d buy the church a brand new bus.
More than once I heard my husband say to that man, “I sure wish you wouldn’t throw your money away, brother. But since you choose to throw it away, I’m praying you win!”
This passage in Jonah isn’t making a case for – or against – casting lots or playing the lottery. Rather, it assures us that God is Sovereign. Most times, when a bunch of heathen sailors decided to gamble, I feel pretty certain that God stayed out of the process altogether. But in this case, He chose to intervene. The lots fell to Jonah, and that set into motion a string of events which eventually led to Jonah’s obedience, and ultimately, to the repentance of Ninevah.
Sometimes, God chooses to work in strange ways. He pursues us, just as He pursued Jonah, and He will move heaven and earth to get our attention, if needed. He will send storms and control dice and send giant sea creatures to swallow us, if that’s what it takes to bring us to Him.
The lots fell to Jonah. Coincidence? Maybe. But I don’t think so. Just as He had a purpose for Jonah, God has a purpose for each of us. We can follow Him willingly, or we can gamble with our destiny, like Jonah did. Jonah ended up with bleached-out skin from being in a whale’s belly . . . but that’s probably not going to happen to me. Then again, I’m not sure I want to take that chance . . .
Dear Father, Thank You for pursuing me even when I defy You. Please help me to obey You without a fight.