Perhaps another way of asking this question would be, “Is it wrong to GAMBLE with the money the Lord has entrusted to me?” The Bible clearly teaches us that once we become a child of
God we also become “stewards of God.” A “steward” is “one whom manages another’s property, finances, or other affairs.” The Lord Jesus told a parable in Luke 16:1-13 (which I would encourage you to read) about a steward. In this parable He was trying to teach us to use the money the Lord has allowed us to have wisely, for His honor and glory and for our eternal blessing. It is a solemn thing to realize that everything we have has been given to us from God and one day we will give an account to Him as to how we used those things. Before that day of reckoning occurs, we should be praying about how to use what He’s given us. So, do you think it is WISE to “bet on football?” Is this really what the Lord would have you to do or does the Lord have another way to provide for your needs?

In 1st Thessalonians 4:11 the Apostle Paul urged his brethren “to WORK WITH YOUR OWN HANDS, as we commanded you.” He went even further than this when writing to his brethren at Ephesus, “Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather LET HIM LABOR, WORKING WITH HIS HANDS WHAT IS GOOD, that he may have something to give him who has need.” In these passages we are taught TO WORK WITH OUR OWN HANDS, to meet our needs AND to meet the needs of others. Working is a good thing! When God created the first man (Adam) He “took the man and put him in the garden of Eden TO TEND AND KEEP IT” (Genesis 2:15); in other words Adam was PUT TO WORK! It was an enjoyable task that honored God and served to meet man’s needs.

There is a strong tendency on man’s part TO AVOID WORK and to try to GET RICH QUICK WITHOUT HAVING TO WORK FOR IT. And thus our country (here in the U.S.A.) is filled with gambling casinos and stores that sell lottery tickets and Powerball tickets, inviting people to gamble their money with hopes of “beating the house” or “drawing the lucky number.” There are many other forms of gambling (like betting on football), but they all have the same goal; to entice people to gamble their hard-earned money. As you know, the vast majority LOSE THE MONEY GAMBLED without earning a penny! Some go on to gamble away most of their money, leaving them poor, if not altogether broke. Solomon had this to say on this subject, “He who tills his land will have PLENTY OF FOOD, but he who follows empty pursuits will have POVERTY IN PLENTY” (Proverbs 28:19…NASB). And even if one does have some success gambling, money seems to “grow wings and fly away.” Solomon also wrote, “Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labor shall increase” (Proverbs 13:11…KJV).

Now let’s get to the bottom of this problem. 1st Timothy 6:10 says, “For the LOVE OF MONEY is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith IN THEIR GREEDINESS, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows” (NKJV). The root of the problem is GREED which leads to the LOVE OF MONEY! Most people who gamble have this problem. They WANT MORE so they LOVE MONEY which will enable them to GET MORE. As a child of God we are told that “godliness with contentment is GREAT GAIN” and that “having food and clothing, with these we shall be content” (1st Timothy 6:6 & 8). I believe we all struggle with this problem to some degree and the world, which promotes materialism on every hand, is in our face daily tempting us to gratify these desires. But we must learn to BE CONTENT. Let’s close with a personal testimony from the Apostle Paul, “For I have learned in whatever state I am, TO BE CONTENT: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:11-13).  (364.5)  (DO)