What does the Bible say about the Lottery? Is it a good or a bad practice for Christians?
Lotteries are different from a game at a party to national, international lotteries or Green Card Lottery in which the participants wish to gain American citizenship.
We can not find in the Bible the word “lottery”, but there are truths that apply to this practice. The Bible tells us about “casting lots” and here is a case about the soldiers who have crucified the Lord Jesus:
And when they had crucified Him, they divided up His garments among themselves by casting lots. (Matthew 27:35)(NASB)
However, the above case is different from the lotteries of today, because the soldiers divided by casting lots things they already assumed as a trophy, while lotteries today are totally different and people resort to them hoping to gain amounts of money without working for it. Here’s what the Bible says in this regard.
Flee from the love of money
In most cases, the love of money is the motivation of people who systematically play in the lottery hoping that one day that will get rich in this way. God says in the Bible:
<sup class=”xref” value=”‘(A)’>But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment. For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness. (1 Timothy 6:6-11)(NASB)
I draw attention to the last verse where God says that man is called to flee from the love of money and things that express it and to give priority to divine things, pursuing righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience and kindness.
Wealth gained without work does not bring prosperity
Wise Solomon wrote this:
Wealth obtained by fraud dwindles, but the one who gathers by labor increases it. – (Proverbs 13:11)(NASB)
I have recently read about Callie Rogers who won $ 3 million at the lottery when she was 16. Six years later she said that she spent it all on drugs, parties, exotic cars and breast plastic operations. Only to her clothing designer she has paid $ 730,000. In an interview published by AOL Callie Rogers says, “To be honest, I wish I never won in the lottery and if I knew then what I know now, I returned the money back” After 6 years from the fantastic win of $ 3,000,000, Callie has only $ 32,000 now. If she worked she would not wasted the money so quickly.
In the end I want to draw the attention of the reader that it is not the case to have many discussions and show “excess of righteousness” and come with accusations of all kinds when there are organized lottery games on a holiday as we have seen at Christian youth meetings. These are quite different things and no one organizes or participates in these lotteries with the purposes mentioned above.
Translated by Felicia Rotaru