In some mythologies, there is a deity whose responsibility it is to hand-pick those who are going to die, especially in combat. Typically that deity chooses not only the person, but the time, place, and sometimes the manner of death.
Examples are the Valkyries of Norse mythology, and The Morrigan of Celtic lore. Many other religions and cultures personify the idea of death as an entity such as the Grim Reaper, Angel of Death, etc.
Today, the idea is carried on in English with expressions like "Death claimed him", or 'Death came calling".