<<betting, casting lots>>
Gambling is theft because it is a lust for possessions without working for them. The lottery winner comes to possess that which is neither an expression of love nor labour. As the motive is to gain at the expense of another, it is robbing the one from whom they receive it.
Don’t gamble with your life or your resources
become ‘hooked’ squandering finances that should be used to purchase the essentials of life. Instead of relying on the Fatherhood of God and His loving care, it resorts to the fluctuations of chance; instead of love seeking the best for others, it is benefiting self at the expense of others; it denies our social responsibility as the average client goes home poorer. The drive is a selfish inward focus. As believers, we are accountable for our time, talents and money and should be other-focused, blessing people not stealing from them.
Throughout the OT people sometimes sought guidance by ‘casting lots’ or using the urim and thummim – stones kept in a pouch on the high priests breastplate, used to determine God’s decision in certain questions and issues (Ex 28:30; Num 26:55; Josh 14:1,2; 1 Sam 14:41,42; Neh 10:34). One of Jesus garments was allocated by lot as the soldiers gambled to obtain for themselves while the disciples cast lots to determine God’s will (Jn 19:23,24; Act 1:23-26). Although Proverbs says the decision of the lot is from the Lord, God now wants to guide us by the Holy Spirit within, and for us to earn our pay, not by taking advantage of another (Prov 16:33).
Lust and greed are some of the vices that are to be ‘put to death’ as the Bible instructs. It also says to be content with what you have for “The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil” (Col 3:5; 1 Tim 6:6,10).
Although living involves taking calculated risks based on wisdom and knowledge together with a commitment to do God’s will, and group decision-making (voting on an issue), the outcome is not determined by the flip of a coin or dice that merely involves chance and luck.
Rather than partake in a raffle for a ‘good cause’ offer to give a donation, after all the raising of funds is what the objective is. How can we participate in a corrupt system detrimental to family and community? If the principle is wrong, then it is also wrong in practice.
See also: chance, contentment, gain, greed, lots/casting, luck, risk, vice.