For years I’ve heard preachers and pundits warn Christians against buying lottery tickets, gambling or participating in activities that offer big payouts. I’ve gone back and forth pondering biblical principles and comparing them with logic. One of the opposing views I have adopted is comparing the lottery to a contest, if you don’t enter you won’t have the chance to win. However, after reading a verse from Solomon, I may have changed my mind.
Ill-gotten treasures have no lasting value, but righteousness delivers from death, Proverbs 10:2.
The verse above appears to apply to contests, lotteries or payouts where little or no work is involved. I would not include investing in this category as this involves researching trends and studying the market that takes years to fully grasp and understand. If you examine the term ill-gotten, Solomon is referring to methods that involve cheating, dirty or shady. Then again, this may exclude the lottery from this argument. Nonetheless, I get the sense that God wants people to work for you make, not handed money you don’t deserve.
Such are the paths of all who go after ill-gotten gain; it takes away the life of those who get it, Proverbs 1:19.
Sometimes before you reach a conclusion you have to let new concepts settle. Instead of making a knee jerk reaction, its probably better to take some time to reflect upon what you really believe. One of Israel’s founding fathers, Joshua refers to a cow chewing its cud in Joshua 1:8, emphasizing the importance of meditating upon biblical teachings. Therefore, I won’t make a definitive statement on what you should or should not do. Rather, I want everyone who reads this to contemplate what it means to receive ill-gotten gain.
by Jay Mankus