How the dice fall…
August 11th, 2019
I had to look this up, because I’m not a gambler, and even if I were, I have no concept of how the game of Craps work. However, the anchor scripture for today’s devotional involves the fall of the dice and Craps is the most notable game involving dice. I suppose I could have focused on Yahtzee, but when you hear the term how the dice fall, I really don’t think of Yahtzee.
What I found out is that person who runs a Craps table is call the ‘Boxperson’. Across from the Boxperson is the Stickperson and by his side are two Dealers, one on each side of him.
Even though the Boxperson doesn’t determine how the dice come up, a lot of players might think otherwise when they are down on their luck, but get this…
We may throw the dice, but the Lord determines how they fall.
Proverbs 16:33 (NLT)
I don’t believe that Solomon was endorsing us gambling, but what he was telling us in this proverb was God is in control regardless of what we do. We don’t credit God with the level of involvement in our lives as he truly has. Solomon was pointing out, that the Lord is deeply involved in the affairs of humanity.
What is perhaps more of a mystery, is if there are things that God does or doesn’t involve himself with in the course of human activity in general.
If we believe the validity of God’s Word, then we must accept the attributes the scripture tells us God has.
Omnipotent – God’s ability to accomplish anything He chooses. There is literally nothing that God can’t do, if he wishes to. This establishes the fact that if God so choses He can dictate anything, including all things that involve any element of His creation. This is why he was able to with a word create a bubble that holds Space-Time. Then construct inside that bubble the universe, our galaxy, our solar system, the earth we live on and everything in it.
I know that you can do anything, and no one can stop you.
Job 42:2 (NLT)
Omnipotent – God is everywhere! He doesn’t have to go somewhere to be present. He is present everywhere! The scripture that indicates God is not far from us is a reflection of this attribute. It is why if we seek him, we can and will find him!
I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence!
If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there. If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me.
I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night— but even in darkness I cannot hide from you. To you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are the same to you.
Psalms 139:7-12 (NLT)
Because of this, God is on the spot and in the moment, every moment. He is positioned in such a manner, and has the capability to affect outcome regardless of when and where He chooses to do so.
So, based on just these two attributes of God, He is totally capable of intervention in anything event anywhere at any time. The only thing that might restrict this amazing power of God is some of attribute of God that might conflict with His Devine nature.
I personally feel that God is involved in many things that affect the general population regardless of our spiritual commitment to him, but there are things that God can’t or will not do.
Christianity Today lists 10 things that God cannot do.
Now some of these are a bit of a stretch, because they take things that God can do and does so in an immeasurable and infinite way. Therefore, he can’t be overwhelmed by something that is too strong for him, or too many tasks, or being present in more than one location. He can’t not be Holy. He can’t be unjust. Etc.
Perhaps the most significant thing on the list there is the fact that He will not do anything in opposition to His Word. If he makes a promise it is something you can bank on.
No, I will not break my covenant; I will not take back a single word I said.
Psalms 89:34 (NLT)
When God makes a commitment in His Word; it is something He is going to see through.
Therefore, there is no reason God can’t intervene in any event we are a part of. Nothing is outsides His ability. So long as what he considers doing doesn’t run counter to His Word and His promises to us, He can and most likely will if he chooses.
There is not a way through scripture that I can point to, which would lead me to believe that God involves Himself in every human event. There aren’t any rules that he’s laid down that would prohibit Him from controlling everything.
Short of a scriptural basis for determining this there are only things that I can think of that would direct my thinking in what God may be doing with his extraordinary abilities.
First there is the passage that almost every believer knows by heart.
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.
Romans 8:28 (NLT)
Romans 8:28 is quoted with extreme regularity. Most versions say it more like ‘All things work together for good’.
Since we are talking about God’s ability to determine the outcome of things (roll of the dice), this translation is especially appropriate; “God causes everything”.
From this we can establish that God’s intervention with His children is assured. He’s shaping the outcome for every event in the lives of His people for good. We may not understand how something may be working toward the good, especially when what we are facing, from our perspective and understanding, is nothing but bleak.
Here’s another popular passage…
“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.
Isaiah 55:8 (NLT)
We didn’t talk about God’s Omniscience. It isn’t that God is smarter than we are, which He is. It isn’t that He has a super knowledgebase He can tap into at His disposal. God knows everything. That includes everything that ever was, is, and will be.
Beyond this, as we all know there are educated idiots in abundance. People that have all kinds of knowledge, don’t always have the accompanying mental dexterity to arrange the sequence of things to bring them together to accomplish a cohesive goal.
God on the other hand not only has infinite knowledge, He also has infinite intelligence as well.
Have you ever noticed how God tends to answer prayers? How often has God given us exactly what we are praying for but provides it in a means that is totally outside of the way we envision that being accomplished? In my experience, it happens more often that way than when God implements our plans as we anticipate them.
God’s Word doesn’t tell us that he causes all things to work together for good for those who are not called to His purpose. Does he call to the sinner’s heart? Yes, he does. But He doesn’t force anyone to love Him.
The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.
2 Peter 3:9 (NLT)
From this passage we can surmise a few important things about God’s willingness to let us make our own choice to love Him and be obedient to His will.
First, God “is being patient for your sake.” If He were not allowing the sinner to come to Him of their own volition, He could simply make the sinner come to him. He doesn’t do that. Yes, God’s Spirit speaks to the sinner’s heart and attempts to bring them to conviction, but in the final analysis how that sinner reacts to that conviction is their choice, God will not impose his will upon them.
Next, “He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.” Do you recall what we talked about when we were discussing God’s attributes? There we saw where anything God wants to do, He can do. He has that ability.
Again, taking His Word at face value, if He doesn’t want for anyone to be destroyed, He has the option and ability to see to it that they don’t perish. It isn’t that he can’t, it is because he will not be untrue to His Word or His nature. He doesn’t want anyone to be destroyed. He wants all to come to repentance, and He wants that to be of their own choosing.
For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.
Romans 3:23-24 (NLT)
This is why God went to extraordinary means to provide a path to redemption. Every single man, woman, and child has been saddled with sin from the moment of birth.
Modern behavioral scholars will try to tell us that children are blank slates. They are not. The first sign of the sinful nature is selfishness. Children must be taught to share. Even when that training is successful, the culture is there to do everything to counter that training.
That extortionary measure was for Him to send His Son to die for us, so that Jesus may offer grace to us free and abundantly.
God’s provided everything to let us have a relationship with Him. Once we have given our lives to Him, He controls the outcome of events in our lives. Literally, it’s all good after that. But despite having the ability and desire that we have that relationship, He is going to allow us to make up our own minds, open the door and let him in.
If we aren’t letting Him roll the dice for us and control the outcome, we are cheating ourselves. He obviously is better equipped to direct our lives. Left to our own devices we will ultimately fail to measure up to His standard. When our last breath is taken in this life, we will find our deserved punishment, for denying the one who controls the dice; “God, the Boxperson”.
In His Grace!