CLAIM: In Joshua 18, the tribes cast lots for the land. Doesn’t the Bible denounce gambling like this?
RESPONSE: The Bible never gives a clear verse denouncing gambling. However, Christians can make a good case for refraining from serious gambling, because we have a stewardship with our money (Ps. 24:1; Lk. 16:1ff; 1 Cor. 4:1-2). By gambling “our” money under the stewardship view, we are really gambling God’s money.
However, this passage in Joshua doesn’t apply, because the men were not at risk for losing anything that belonged to God. As kids, we would draw straws, flip a coin, or play rock-paper-scissors for who would sleep on the bottom bunk or the top. Either way, we had a place to sleep. In the same way, the tribes would receive one portion of the land or another. Moreover, the Proverbs teach that God would give his will through casting lots at this time in history (Prov. 16:33). After the Holy Spirit is given, we are not given any instructions for discerning God’s will in this way (none after Acts 1:26).