What does the Bible say about gambling? Well, if you run a search for the word “gambling” you are not going to find it in the Bible. So does that mean that the Bible approves of gambling? It isn’t quite that simple. You see, the Bible has a whole lot to say about money. In fact, there are so many Scriptures about money that it would take whole books to go over them all. God is very concerned about how we make our money, how we view our money and what we do with our money. It is in the Scriptures about money where we can get an idea of what God thinks when we gamble our money away. The truth is that gambling is a massive problem in modern society. Recent research has shown that there are approximately 2.5 million “pathological gamblers” in the United States today and another 3 million U.S. adults who should probably be considered “problem gamblers”. Well over 500 billion dollars is spent gambling each and every year in the United States. That is a problem. But it is not just in the United States where gambling is a problem. Similar problems are found all over the world where gambling is permitted. So what does the Bible have to say?
Well, in 1 Timothy 6:9-10 we find perhaps the most frequently quoted Scripture about money in the entire Bible. It tells us that the “love of money” is a root “of all kinds of evil”…..
People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
While those who put a dollar into the office football pool may not be doing it for the love of money, the truth is that the vast majority of gambling addicts do it for the money. Money becomes an overwhelming obsession for them. Many become convinced that gambling will solve their money problems or will open up the door to a better life. The truth is that those who become fixated on money fall into a trap. The Scripture above warns us that the trap can cause us to wander from the faith.
In fact, Hebrews 13:5 warns us to keep our lives free from the love of money and to be content with what we already have…..
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
God is going to provide for those who trust and obey Him. But for most people that is not enough. Most people think they know better than God.
But even if someone is able to “hit it big” gambling, the Bible warns that money obtained in such a manner will dwindle quickly away. Proverbs 13:11 tells us this…..
Dishonest money dwindles away, but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow.
In addition, Ecclesiastes 5:10 tells us that those who love money never can get enough of it. It becomes an endless addiction. Anyone who has ever known a gambling addict knows that no matter how much money they win, it is never enough for them. King Solomon was very wise when he wrote the following (under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit) in the book of Ecclesiastes…..
Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless.
What ends up happening to most gamblers? Most of them end up having massive financial problems. Why? Because most gambling games are designed so that the odds are not in your favor. So gambling addicts usually find themselves hurting very badly financially. When that happens, they often find themselves not able to provide for their own families. This is a very serious evil according to 1 Timothy 5:8…..
If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
We are to watch over and take care of the money we make. We are to use it to further God’s kingdom and to take care of our families. We are instructed to make wise choices. Gambling our money away is not a wise choice.
We have to ask ourselves who our master is going to be. According to Matthew 6:24, we cannot have two masters…..
“No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.”
So who are you going to serve? If you are addicted to gambling, you are not serving God. You are serving someone else.
But the good news is that if you are addicted to gambling there is hope. Jesus Christ died on the cross for the sins of all mankind so that we may have our sins forgiven and be granted eternal life. If you are addicted to gambling there is still time for you to get your life turned around and to have the ultimate happy ending. We encourage you to read more about it in our article entitled “What Does The Bible Say About Salvation?“.