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Sunday, July 13, 2008

Chance, yet again, in the Bible

Proverbs 18:18 The lot puts an end to quarrels and decides between powerful contenders. (ESV)

As often in Proverbs, this statement doesn't seem to related to the context, but to stand alone. It simply states a truth. Does this advocate using some sort of random drawing, rather than our expensive court system? Maybe, maybe not. But the statement doesn't seem to condemn the use of chance, whether it can be applied more broadly, or not.

I saw this in the July on-line Bible readings from the English Standard Version.

I've posted several times on "chance," and if you want to see other posts, click on the "chance," or "randomness" in the tags at the end of this post.

Thanks for reading. I'm glad you chanced by.


hiphostage said...

Very interesting. My reading seems to indicate that if the "lusory" lots (i.e. dice, gambling) had not profaned this way of appeal, it might still be used as a means of deciding controversies. Previous to that, prayer and due solemnity were used in the process.

Sigh...much like society today, the "gotta have it now" mentality ruined this means of settlement. Throwing dice to decide an argument is easier then prayer!

John said...

As a retired lawyer I would have to say this is still closer to the way a court works than we might like to think. On the other hand, the lot system and today's adjudicated decision serves the same two fold purpose: 1) an end to the dangerous tension and back and forth of unresolved conflict with a decision; 2) the opportunity for parties to then grieve the loss and lack of vindication or the disappointment that the outcome is not really satisfying, and move on. The downside is how often we learn later on how unjust was the outcome.

Martin LaBar said...

Thank you for your insightful comments, both of you.

Weekend Fisher said...

Actually, it sounds like the way my kids still settle arguments. ("Heads or tails?") ;)

Take care & God bless

Martin LaBar said...

7/16/08: Thanks, weekend fisher. If your kids actually do settle arguments, by whatever means, short of violence, you are blessed! I seem to recall some violence when I was small.