<<likelihood, possibility, risk>>

The world considers good or bad events in one’s life as random happenings without any logical or explainable reason, just a matter of coincidence, luck, fate or misfortune as they gamble with life. Lotteries lure punters with the hope they will get the winning ticket. However, in many other life situations it is the predictable principle of cause and effect – a consistent reason why something happened the way it did.

As believers, we have confidence that the affairs of our lives are divinely orchestrated by the sovereignty and providence of our loving heavenly Father. God may specifically cause something to happen a certain way, at other times the outcome will be according to the laws of nature He established (Prov 21:1; Lk 13:1-4). At all times He is aware of what is happening, even in the small insignificant areas (Mt 10:29-31).

In the OT there are several accounts of using the Urim and Thummin. God had instructed the Israelites priests to have these two instruments of guidance and use them to ascertain His will at various times. The ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer was independent of any man’s reasoning (Ex 28:30; Num 27:21; Josh 7:14-18; 1 Sam 14:41,42). Jesus clothes were distributed by rolling a dice (Lk 23:34). In the early NT after much praying, “Show us which of these men you have chosen” they drew lots and a replacement apostle was selected (Acts 1:26). We are not told by what means this decision was reached.

Through His sovereignty or overruling dominion of knowing the overall future, and our individual part in it He prepares the situations and us in advance (Eph 2:10). He sets the stage in our lives. It’s our responsibility to walk in the Spirit, living God honouring lives thereby positioning ourselves so He can bless our meager efforts. The Bible declares those that honour Him, He will honour (1 Sam 2:30). Although seemingly bad things happen to godly people, we have limited perspective. When tragedy strikes we should continue to unswervingly hold to our faith and praise Him through the tears as we give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thes 5:18; Heb 10:23).

Being a Christian does not exempt us from calamity and disaster, however, good will result from it if
we keep our attitude right. “Commit your way to the Lord and He will direct your path” ordering the circumstances of our lives (Ps 23:3, 37:5). Ruth ‘just happened’ to be in the right field at the right time (Ruth 2:2-3:11). She walked with integrity and was not self-focused. “In Him we were also chosen,

Live in such a way that you deserve to be blessed

having been predestined according to the plan of Him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will” (Ps 115:3; Isa 46:10; Eph 1:11). “In all things God works together for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose” (Rom 8:28).

We should ask for His guidance, and use wisdom when confronted with a choice. Many times, we must make a calculated decision based upon His word and a reasoned approach. Do not resort to the arbitrary throwing of a dice.

In many scenarios of life we are afforded a second chance, yet this is not always the case. Adam and Eve were not given the opportunity of a replay in the Garden of Eden and once the crime of disobeying God had taken place they couldn't reverse it or reconsider their actions. We should aways endeavour to do things right the first time.

See also: cause and effect, circumstances, disaster, fatalism, gambling, guidance (divine), luck, providence, reason, second chance, sovereignty.