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Casting Lots

They take my wallet and the shirt off my back,   and then throw dice for my clothes. ~ Psalm 22:18, MSG

After they had finished nailing him to the cross and were waiting for him to die, they whiled away the time by throwing dice for his clothes. ~ Matthew 27:35, MSG

Casting or Drawing Lots (a.k.a., Lotteries): The practice of casting lots (gambling; dividing; deciding; luck, chance, or fate; and so forth) is found in both the Old and New Testaments. Although no one knows if dice, coins, rocks, sticks, and etc., were used in ancient times, in the Holy Bible the casting of lots is depicted as being very similar to throwing dice or drawing straws. Two noteworthy New Testament instances of casting lots are when the apostles cast lots to decide who will replace Judas (cf. Acts 1:16-26), and when the Roman soldiers cast lots for Jesus’ garments (cf. Matthew 27:35; Mark 15:24; Luke 23:34; John 19:23).



Lot drawings…

       Some good, some bad; some fact, some fiction;

                          Some short-lived, some everlasting; like


                                           Shortest-stick pick

                    Last-minute clock tick

                            Bunny rabbit’s detached foot

                                              Black-dotted white slip

                                                       Bingo-players’ lucky chip;




Famous board game’s “Pass Go”

                            Three-lemon machine roll

             High-roller cubed slot drops

                                             Five combination white-ball pops

                                                    Dealer’s-card Blackjack hit

                             Casino’s riches bottomless pit…


                                 Leprechaun’s fabled-green sacks

                                               Consolation prize knickknacks

Magazine purchasers’ million-dollar stickits

          Casting lots via raffle tickets

                         Wheel of Fortune ten seconds shock

                                   Scissors, paper and rock

                                                  Best of three, you select

                                                 Games of Russian roulette…


                       One lottery cost is less than what’s lost

A sure-win to behold

                  Christ’s fire-tried gold

                              A rust-free treasure

      Riches beyond measure…

                        Choose, earthly and heavenly inheritance

                                            Red-tagged rack, marked for acceptance,

Freely-given lot matter of choice

                                      Allowing mankind chance to voice



                       First-prize reward—eternal life with God . . .

Runner-up penalty—eternal doom by all odds….



~ from Montage of Poetic Imaginations (2003, edited)