Does Lottery Gambling Violate Biblical Principles?
While the Bible contains no “Thou shalt not” in regards to lottery gambling specifically or to gambling in general, it does provide insights and precepts which strongly indicate that lottery gambling is wrong. The following is a brief summary of many of those principles.
The Bible emphasizes the sovereignty of God in the matter of human events (Matthew 10:29-30); gambling looks to chance and luck.
The Bible indicates that people are to work creatively and diligently and use their possessions for the greater good (Acts 20:35 — 2 Thessalonians 3:10); gambling fosters something-for-nothing and cavalier attitudes toward money and the honest labor that should produce it.
The Bible requires the careful stewardship and the generous sharing of our resources, particularly in the areas of family welfare and support for God’s work (1 Timothy 5:8 — 2 Corinthians 9:6-9); gambling calls for reckless abandon, selfishness, and disregard for the well-being of others.
The Bible warns against materialism and covetousness (Matthew 6:24-34 — Exodus 20:17); the heart of gambling is the essence of those two conditions.
The moral thrust of the Bible as Christ expressed when he proclaimed the two greatest commandments is paramount love for God and a deep and abiding love for other people (Matthew 22:34-40 — Romans 13:8-1 0); lottery gambling makes the state and economic predator of its weakest and most vulnerable residents and is entirely antithetical to the whole love language embodied in the scriptures.
The Bible is clear that Economic Justice, a concern for the well-being of the disadvantaged and poor, is to be a very important consideration as we make decisions and take action (Proverbs 29:7); since lottery gambling imposes a predatory tax on the poor, our failure to oppose it is a lost opportunity to protect and prevent the exploitation of the disadvantaged and vulnerable.