For every decision made by casting the lot, God is the One making the determination. Proverbs 16:3 says, "The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD.”
So the LORD chose which portion of land went to each of the Israelite tribes. He made sure Jerusalem went to Judah, just like He pointed out Achan as the one who took property from Jericho. In the same way, He chose Jonah from all the people on the boat. The LORD placed Zechariah in the temple to burn incense so He could tell him about the birth of his son John. He is the one who chose Matthias to replace Judas.
But of all the events in the Bible where a lot was cast to make a decision, there is one that stands alone for me. John 19:23-24 says, "When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his garments and divided them into four parts, one part for each soldier; also his tunic. But the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom, so they said to one another, 'Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be.'" This decision fulfilled Psalm 22:18, "They divided my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots." So the Sovereign LORD God chose which soldier, who had just put Him on the cross, would receive His tunic!
Oh LORD my God, please forgive me for ever forgetting or acting like You are not the Sovereign Ruler of the universe. There is nothing You created that is not entirely under Your authority and control. Holy Spirit quickly convict us for expressing God's sovereignty in one aspect of life and then taking it away in another. Jesus Christ, You rule and reign over all. Reign in my heart.
"As for you, do not pray for this people, or lift up a cry or prayer for them, and do not intercede with me, for I will not hear you."
Doesn't reading God's Word challenge your theology? What would be the response next Sunday if you began talking about the time God told Jeremiah to stop praying for the people of Judah? Doesn't that run counter to a significant number of people's opinion of who God is and what He wants?
To understand why God would say such a thing to Jeremiah, we must examine the first fifteen verses of this chapter. God tells Jeremiah to stand at the front door of His house and speak these words to everyone who enters. He wants all those who come to worship Him to understand what is happening. If they do not change their ways, He will no longer dwell in the land He gave their forefathers. Don't put your trust in the lie of "This is the temple of the LORD." The people were operating under a false assumption. They thought since the house Solomon built for the LORD was in Jerusalem, the LORD must be there no matter how the nation lived. They thought they could live in total opposition to who the LORD was and what He commanded, and He still must dwell among them. It reminds me of Matthew 7:21, "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven."
In verse 8 God says, "Behold, you trust in deceptive words to no avail." "Behold" is a strong word that means pay attention or look carefully for what I say next is very important. God then says don't think you can break all my commands and instructions and still stand in My house and say "We are delivered!". Look at what I did at Shiloh if you think that. I allowed the Philistines to take possession the ark of the covenant.
Oh LORD God, give Your children eyes to see You as You truly are. Forgive us for attempting to make You in our image. Just as C. S. Lewis says of Aslan in the Chronicles of Narnia, "Of course, He is not safe, but He is good." You are King. Forgive me for thinking You less than You are.