There are those look upon gambling as a benign pastime. And for some it is. That doesn’t make it a good thing, nor does it recognize the devastation that gambling wreaks in the lives of many it touches.
You can be sure the alcoholic didn’t take the first drink expecting to become addicted. There was some body chemistry or psychological need that led from a casual drink to a life-changing addiction.
In the same way, the people who are hooked on gambling didn’t buy the first lottery ticket or bet the first horse or dog race with the intention of ruining their lives or the lives of those around them.
But that’s what gambling addiction does. Family breakup, bankruptcy, crime, substance abuse, even suicide are just some of the negative outcomes.
With that possibility, even without considering the Bible’s teaching on gambling, it makes sense to grasp the reality that you should steer clear of gambling. When the Bible’s instruction and admonition are considered, it’s obvious that it’s not a good thing.
This excerpt from Compelling Truth crystallizes the Bible’s teaching:
In the Old Testament, God specifically warned about the spirit behind gambling when He said in Isaiah 65:11-12: "But you who forsake the LORD, who forget my holy mountain, who set a table for Fortune and fill cups of mixed wine for Destiny, I will destine you to the sword, and all of you shall bow down to the slaughter, because, when I called, you did not answer; when I spoke, you did not listen, but you did what was evil in my eyes and chose what I did not delight in.”
The phrase "set a table" means "to bring food to an idol." The Hebrew word for "Destiny" comes from the Hebrew word Meni, and it means "luck." Israel was literally worshipping the gods of luck and fortune and trusting them for their needs, rather than worshipping and trusting God.
This is what people do today who immerse themselves in gambling. And because God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, it is foolish thinking to believe His views on the matter have changed.
For a broader summary of Biblical teaching on gambling click the following link: [Compelling Truth]