The Lord is in charge. (16:4, 33) He determines a person’s steps. (16:9, 19:21) He determines everyone’s life course. (21:31) His will prevails over all. Many times everyone seeks to know God’s will in an important decision because we commonly fear a wrong decision will be disastrous. We declare, “I just don’t know what to do. Lord show me your will.”
God knows this. The Urim and the Thummim in the High Priest’s breast piece were given to Israel to determine God’s will. (Exodus 28:30) When not available people cast lots. Nehemiah cast lots to determine who among those returning to Judea would live in Jerusalem. (Nehemiah 11:1) The apostles cast lots to determine who would take the traitor Judas’ place. (Acts 1:26) Gideon placed a fleece on the ground to see if it would get moist to know God if would accomplish victory through him. (Judges 6:33-40)
Similarly, when a dispute erupts tempers rise threatening peace, health, and even life we seek a way to resolve the disagreement in a peaceful manner, especially when no common ground can be found to improve the outlook of the escalating dialogue. Casting the lot was a common way to settle disputes and keep strong opponents apart as this proverb directs. This only works if the two agree to hold the decision.
How do I settle a dispute with another? Even a dispute with another believer in Jesus? (Mark 9:33-34) King Jehoshaphat appointed wise men anointed by God to settle disputes amongst the children of God. (2 Chronicles 19:8) Similarly, I can seek the counsel of someone I know who has faith in Jesus and is wise. (Isaiah 2:4, Micah 4:3) If pride is involved I can head Jesus’ advice, “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.” (Mark 9:33)
“When a man’s ways are pleasing to the LORD, he makes even his enemies live at peace with him.” (Proverbs 16:7) And, “Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” (Romans 12:17-18)