We look at Scripture in every one of the posts I write and we have looked at opinions. Usually someone’s opinion is not something I really care for- since we all have those, and mine is as good as anyone else’s!

However some times the Scripture doesn’t precisely and directly speak on a subject. So recently I had that come up in my life. Is it a sin to gamble?

See I have enjoyed purchasing a lottery ticket from time to time- about 1 a month or so. Now $2.00 to $3.00 a month will not cause me to go hungry and I am constantly giving to those in need and of course I tithe.

So since I don’t spend a lot of money on gambling and I do know we can make anything into a sin by indulging in it too much- well except loving God and others. And there is no- Thou shalt not gamble- in God’s Word what could be wrong about it?

Oh I’ve heard people- some preachers, say, it is a sin, but without substantial Scripture to support their words. The only Scripture that speaks of it in a negative way is:

Matt. 27: 35, When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

Mark 15: 24, And they crucified him. Dividing up his clothes, they cast lots to see what each would get.

Luke 23: 34, Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

John 19: 23-24, When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom. “Let’s not tear it,” they said to one another. “Let’s decide by lot who will get it. ”This happened that the scripture might be fulfilled that said, “They divided my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment.”So this is what the soldiers did.

As we can see they (soldiers) are gambling over, at least, one of his garments but to use this as a sign it is a sin is WAY out there- the subject is, “Jesus being crucified and the peoples attitude. If it were the gambling then, would all the other be all right?

The chance aspect generally is worked under the assumption that the result could come out any particular way, due to “luck” or “chance” as a nebulous non-force that does the bidding.

Pious gamblers may go as far to claim that God influenced things to make them win (but of course, not to make them or the others lose). I’ve heard people pray for their team to win in college football. And such persons would actually be far closer to an ancient view than a modern one. As Pilch and Malina note in the Handbook of Biblical Social Values, the ancients believed as a whole in the fixed fate or fortune of each person.

Gambling would then not be a matter of throwing things to chance, but of determining the will of the gods (and in Israel’s case, God). This can be seen in that the drawing of lots was used to determine tribal land apportionment’s:

Numbers 26: 55-56, Be sure that the land is distributed by lot. What each group inherits will be according to the names for its ancestral tribe. Each inheritance is to be distributed by lot among the larger and smaller groups.”

We have many instances where “casting lots” were used to determine who would receive and who would not receive a certain item or even position:

Acts 1: 23-26, So they nominated two men: Joseph called Barsabbas (also known as Justus) and Matthias. Then they prayed, “Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which of these two you have chosen to take over this apostolic ministry, which Judas left to go where he belongs.” Then they cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias; so he was added to the eleven apostles.

Now back to my original question> Is it a sin to gamble? So since there isn’t a direct quote from God’s Word- I had to ask an opinion. Lets keep in mind an opinion can be accepted or rejected. But what is directly IN God’s Word there is NO discussion- If He say’s it that is the END!

Now back to the asking for an opinion- first if you want a sincere opinion and one that is as close to being Biblical as possible.

You ask someone that knows God and that God knows. Plus you want someone that will share him/her true belief and feelings- not someone that will sugar cote it or try to win your friendship or acceptance. That actually isn’t a friend!

So I asked such a person, a dear friend that I have sat at his table and ate with he and his wife, listened to him teach and preach the Word and someone I could and have trusted before to tell the truth.

Yep, my Pastor. Now I wasn’t sure what he would say, like I said, I had searched the Scripture and could find nothing that directly spoke to this subject. But I did desire his thoughts on this subject.

Well he too could not find anything directly concerning this, gambling, issue. But he brought up an interesting insight I had never looked at. He simply said, after discussion, he felt it was not good stewardship of what God had in-trusted us (me) with to gamble it (away).

Well needless to say- I didn’t argue with that advice, not even in my mind. Because I knew it to be true since the odds were ALWAYS against winning- regardless of the use I intended with the “winnings,” and unlike the football gamblers- I would NOT ask God to have me win!

So today- I don’t purchase lottery tickets> when asking someone that loves the Lord for advice, you may get more than you though, hopefully never more than you desire- (Truth!)



Filed under: Rev. Calvin

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