I published an article before about the dangers of the virtual games. Recently I was asked to touch the subject of gambling from the perspective of the Bible. I’d like to start with …
My own and my colleague’s experience
When I was still a student at school, many colleagues used to play tzoaka for money, and when they grew older they began to play cards for money. As far as I remember, that play was called “Seca” and I do not know what that name means. As a child, I looked at others and I tried to play too, but seeing that I was losing more than I was winning, at one point I decided to renounce. Instead, I had a colleague who had some exceptional abilities at Mathematics and the teachers were prophesying him a bright future. He was always winning when he played cards for money, and so he was caught in these games, that he began to spend the nights on the street at the light of a telegraph pole to play with the colleagues. They began this in fall, but then continued so in winter and only sometimes were scattered at home by the police that found them during the night control. They decided to move to one’s home and so they continued to play day and night. They graduated the school somehow to enter the college, but there the same friends came, and being caught in this evil passion of the games of chance, they were missing the lessons, were not learning, and soon they were expelled. My colleague had to go and work many years in another country, facing very difficult situations, but he could have made his career through studies, or maybe through sports because he had exceptional sporting qualities, only if he hadn’t fallen into this evil trap of the games of chance. I have not seen him for a long time, but I understood that now, however, he began right from the start, he graduated the college and he even leads an enterprise. I would enjoy to meet with him and to know that he is well and he got rid of this passion.
Gambling is a sinful passion
The Bible makes no direct references to gambling, but when we study other vices that God speaks about in the Holy Scripture, we can certainly say that gambling is a sinful passion, that is a hot desire that seizes the man and he can no longer control himself, becoming the slave of this evil passion, as Apostle Paul writes, about the way of life of the man that is is not in covenant with the Lord Jesus Christ. He says:
For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death. (Romans 7:5)(NASB)
I have noticed that people who were caught in this bad passion, become obsessed with it and can not be freed from it.
Gambling involve cheat
My friend Omar Satseradze, who is a pastor now and makes a great ministry for the Gospel in the city of Kutaisi of Georgia, but he was a great card player for money, and made many misdoings for which he repented and God forgave him giving him a new life. Omar told me many things and even showed me how playing cards for money is based on cheating. The one who knows how to cheat better wins that game.
Gambling is a trap for the greedy
People who want to enrich quickly without working turn to gambling for many times, especially when they are still adolescents and young people. And then, once they are caught in this evil passion, they can not issue it. That’s why God says:
My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent. If they say, “Come with us, let us lie in wait for blood, let us ambush the innocent without cause; let us swallow them alive like Sheol, even whole, as those who go down to the pit; we will find all kinds of precious wealth, we will fill our houses with spoil; throw in your lot with us, we shall all have one purse,” My son, do not walk in the way with them keep your feet from their path, for their feet run to evil and they hasten to shed blood. Indeed, it is useless to spread the baited net in the sight of any bird; but they lie in wait for their own blood; they ambush their own lives. So are the ways of everyone who gains by violence; it takes away the life of its possessors. (Proverbs of Solomon 1:10-19)(NASB)
Those who are of Christ are no longer slaves of the sinful passions
When a man enters the covenant with the Lord Jesus Christ through faith and repentance, and receives the Holy Spirit, being led by the Spirit of God, he will bring fruit, as the Bible says:
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, actions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:16-21)(NASB)
How you see in the text, when he listed the deeds of the flesh, Apostle Paul left the list unfinished and said, “and things like these.” Certainly that gambling completes this list.
Translated by Felicia Djugostran