A photo capturing a person reading the Bible, surrounded by four-leaf clovers, symbolizing the search for luck and the guidance sought from scripture.

What Does The Bible Say About Luck?

The concept of ‘luck’ often crosses people’s minds. We may feel lucky when something good happens unexpectedly or unlucky when we run into misfortune. But what does the Bible say about luck? Is there such a thing from a biblical perspective?

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: The Bible does not support the concept of luck as pure chance or randomness. God is sovereign over all things, even the events that seem accidental or fortunate to us.

The Sovereignty of God

God Controls All Events and Outcomes

The Bible teaches that God is sovereign over all things. Nothing happens outside of His will or permission (Ephesians 1:11). This includes the good and bad events that happen in our lives. We may not always understand why God allows certain things to occur, but we can trust that He is in control and works all things together for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28).

God can even use evil events to accomplish His purposes (Genesis 50:20). His plans will prevail; nothing can thwart them (Isaiah 14:27). Therefore, we should have faith that God is actively involved in our lives, even when it seems like luck or chance is at play.

The Illusion of Luck and Chance

From a human perspective, certain events may seem random or based on luck or chance. However, the Bible tells us that God orders every step (Proverbs 16:9). He predetermined all things according to His purpose (Ephesians 1:11).

What we perceive as luck is just God working out His perfect plan behind the scenes. So events that we think are due to chance, good fortune, or bad luck are actually part of God’s divine design. For example, you might consider it “good luck” to catch all green lights driving to work or “bad luck” to have your flight canceled.

But these situations are not by chance – they are planned by God for His purposes.

There are 33 verses in the Bible that instruct us not to trust in luck or chance, but to rely on God who controls all outcomes (e.g., Ecclesiastes 9:11-12). God wants us to live by faith in His sovereignty, not by the illusions of a random universe.

Trusting in God’s Plans

Since God is in complete control, we can trust His plans for our lives. We do not need to depend on superstitions or luck to get ahead. His way is perfect (Psalm 18:30). When we submit to His sovereignty instead of relying on chance, our lives will be filled with freedom, security, and purpose.

We can take comfort knowing that the events of our lives, both good and bad, have eternal significance in God’s grand plan.

The wise response is to acknowledge God’s sovereignty in all that happens and dedicate our lives to His will and glory. As GotQuestions.org says, “God’s sovereignty is not merely the backdrop to our lives; it is the miracle of our lives.”

When we recognize that God directs our steps, we can walk boldly into His perfect plan, rather than passively hoping for “good luck.”

Biblical Examples Regarding Luck

Jacob’s Fortune with Laban’s Flocks

The story of Jacob’s fortune with Laban’s flocks is found in Genesis 30. Jacob had made a deal to work for his uncle Laban for 7 years in order to marry Rachel. But on the wedding night, Laban deceived Jacob and gave him his older daughter Leah instead.

So Jacob worked another 7 years so he could also marry Rachel. During this time, Jacob’s flocks multiplied exceedingly by what seemed like pure luck, while Laban’s flocks produced few offspring in comparison. But it wasn’t just luck – God was blessing Jacob by making his animals very fertile.

As the Bible says, “Thus the man increased greatly and had large flocks, female servants and male servants, and camels and donkeys” (Genesis 30:43). God was orchestrating events behind the scenes to prosper Jacob.

The Israelites Victory Over Ai

In Joshua 7-8, the Israelites are defeated in their first attempt to conquer the city of Ai because of sin in the camp. After dealing with the sin, they go up to attack Ai a second time. This time, God assures them of victory and tells them to set up an ambush tactic.

The ambush works perfectly, and the Israelites destroy the entire city. The first failed attack might seem like bad luck, while the second victory seems like good luck. But it was neither – it was God purposefully working behind the scenes in both outcomes.

God let them be defeated the first time to discipline them, then gave them victory the second time to encourage them. As Joshua says, “Not one of the good promises which the LORD had made to the house of Israel failed; all came to pass” (Joshua 21:45).

The Story of Ruth

In the book of Ruth, Naomi’s family moves to Moab to escape a famine in Israel. But her husband and sons tragically die there, leaving her alone with her daughters-in-law. When she decides to return to Israel, one daughter-in-law, Ruth, loyally accompanies her.

Back in Israel, Ruth happens to glean grain in the field of a wealthy kinsman named Boaz. Naomi schemes for Boaz to marry Ruth, as he is a qualified redeemer. Eventually Ruth and Boaz marry and have a son named Obed, who becomes the grandfather of King David.

While this seems like a lucky series of events for Ruth, it was really God’s providence guiding the whole story to bring about His will. As Ruth 4:13-17 says, “the LORD gave her conception, and she bore a son…Obed, the father of Jesse, the father of David.”

Story Seemingly Lucky Events Actual Reason
Jacob and Laban Jacob’s flocks multiplied greatly God blessing Jacob and prospering him
Israelites vs. Ai Israelites defeated then victorious God disciplining then encouraging Israelites
Ruth Ruth randomly gleaning in Boaz’s field and marrying him God providentially guiding events

Commands Against Pagan Practices of Divination

Prohibitions Against Sorcery and Divination

The Bible contains clear prohibitions against occult practices like sorcery, divination, fortune-telling, and witchcraft. These practices rely on supernatural power or knowledge claimed by pagan gods, spirits, or other sources outside of God (Leviticus 19:26; Deuteronomy 18:9-14).

The Old Testament law codes strictly forbade all forms of divination and sorcery, which were prevalent among Israel’s pagan neighbors. God commanded His people to reject these practices and trust in Him alone.

For example, God warned the Israelites against child sacrifice, consulting mediums, spiritists, interpreters of omens, witchcraft, casting spells, and consulting the dead – all pagan practices of divination to discern the will of pagan gods or spirits (Deuteronomy 18:9-13).

The reasons given were that these practices were “detestable” and an “abomination” to the Lord (Deuteronomy 18:12). The Israelites were to be “blameless” before God, fully devoted to Him alone (Deuteronomy 18:13).

In the New Testament, sorcery (pharmakeia) is also condemned as a work of the flesh (Galatians 5:20) and listed among the “acts of the sinful nature” (Galatians 5:19-21 NIV). The book of Revelation warns that sorcerers will be among those shut out of the New Jerusalem and condemned to the lake of fire (Revelation 21:8; 22:15).

Trusting in Superstitions vs Trusting God

Behind the prohibitions against divination and sorcery is a clear message – God’s people should not look to occult practices or other pagan gods for guidance and knowledge of the future, but should trust only in God. He alone knows and controls the future.

Rather than relying on horoscopes, psychic readings, or lucky charms, Christians are called to pray, seek wisdom from Scripture, and trust in God’s sovereign plans (James 1:5; Proverbs 3:5-6).

Occult practices like astrology, palm-reading, ouija boards, tarot cards, and psychics who claim to predict the future and communicate with the dead are still popular today. However, the Bible is clear that Christians should avoid any participation in these practices.

Consulting psychics and mediums actually opens people up to deception by demons posing as spirits of the dead (2 Corinthians 11:14-15). Christians should reject the false guidance from occult sources and seek wisdom, knowledge, and guidance from God alone through prayerful study of His Word (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

Rather than looking to luck or superstitious practices, Christians can take comfort in God’s sovereignty. They can pray and trust God to direct their steps each day (Proverbs 3:5-6), knowing He cares for them and has good plans for their lives (Jeremiah 29:11).

With this trust in the Lord, they can reject unbiblical sources of guidance and walk in His wisdom and blessing.

The Role of Diligence and Wisdom

Working Hard and Making Wise Choices

The Bible encourages diligence and hard work rather than passively waiting for good things to happen. Proverbs 10:4 states, “Lazy hands make for poverty, but diligent hands bring wealth.” Working hard with integrity and making wise choices puts us in a position to prosper.

However, the Bible also warns against trusting solely in one’s own effort. Pride can creep in if we believe successes come solely from our work. As James 4:13-16 reminds us, all our plans depend on God’s will. So we should work hard but recognize God as the ultimate provider of the results.

Balance Between Effort and Trust in God

Christians are called to balance diligent effort with trust and reliance on God. Philippians 2:12-13 illustrates this balance: “Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.”

A helpful visual analogy is rowing a boat. We steadily and firmly row the oars (representing diligent human effort), but it is the wind (representing God’s power) that actually propels the boat forward. Without both components – the rowing and the wind – the boat goes nowhere.

So the Bible promotes diligence fueled by faith and wisdom from God. Luck is not relevant, nor something to be passive about. With commitment to work coupled with reliance on God’s leading and provision, believers can live purposeful, fruitful lives.


In summary, the Bible does not support the concept of luck or chance. God sovereignly controls all things. What may seem like good or bad fortune is part of His greater plans.

While avoiding superstitious practices, believers should trust in God’s purposes even through difficult circumstances. We must also apply wisdom and diligence, recognizing that these are still gifts from God.

Similar Posts