I heard on the news today that the Powerball lottery is up to $500 million. Nope, I don’t gamble, wouldn’t do so even if it were an even higher figure because it’s just plain wrong ! Why? For one the Bible says so and that’s good enough for me, I think God knows what He’s talking about ! Yet when a “prize” becomes so large even believers will look for ways to justify purchasing a lotto ticket: “It benefits senior citizens, though” yet Paul slammed the ends justifies the means thinking in Rom.3:8 with “And not rather (as we be slanderously reported and as some affirm that we say) Let us do evil that good may come? whose damnation is just” or “I’d tithe it to your church if I win” – No thanks ! and “But think of all the good that could be done with all that money” and all the “good” I can have now !!
Gambling is just plain wrong. It promotes the love of money which God says is “the root of all evil” (1Tim.6:10), it’s the evil desire to get something for nothing and usually at another’s expense which goes against loving my neighbor and my God ! Gambling undermines the virtue of self-reliance and hard work with God’s helping hand, giving prominence to chance or luck as a large element in one’s success or failure. And finally the Bible teaches respect for another’s personal property and condemns covetousness (Ex.20:17). The Bible also warns us that should we want to play the fool and fall for get rich quick thinking that “wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished” (Prov.13:11), it will quickly fly away. You know what? Whoever does win that huge lottery will fulfill this verse: the government will immediately require $232 million, more than half of it !!!
Most of us reading a blog like this will not likely be rushing out to buy a ticket, even before you read this. But what gambling would we do? It needn’t be money. When a person gambles with money he takes some of what he has and risks it foolishly (operative word) in hopes of skirting God’s system for his own, all in the ambition of making a great deal more ! Not for God’s will, but his own greedy desires. Apply that to every area of your life. Are you gambling away the time God gives you in some way by foolishly squandering it on yourself? How about the talents God has given you? Be careful of giving a little of them out in hopes of achieving something you want rather than what God truly desires. The Lord has given us all many wonderful resources and our goal should be to use them for His glory, not our gain. In doing that, you will reap eternal dividends far far beyond a mere pittance of $500 million !! How’s that for a real payout?!