Gambling breaks God's eighth commandment. Because it does not serve to God's honor and is not of service to others, it is not honorable work; it is not a godly calling. Scripture teaches that a person may legitimately gain wealth through labor, inheritance, or relief (in special, needy circumstances). Gambling is not a proper way to gain wealth; it takes the property of others without providing materials or services for it. If a gambler wins, he steals the wealth of others; if he loses, he wastes that which belongs to himself and his family.
God placed the following curse upon sinfully fallen man: "Cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread" (Genesis 3:17b-19a). Sinful man, however, wishes to pass by both God's ordinances and punishments -he desires to become rich immediately, without work -by avoiding the thorns, thistles, and sweat attached to work.
The eighth commandment can also be broken through laziness, by wasting and not developing one's God-given talents and abilities. By not diligently applying one's self to his school work, or by despising educational opportunities, a person buries his talent instead of increasing it. The following parable illustrates this principle.
The Parable of the Talents
For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.
And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.
Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents.
And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.
But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money.
After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.
And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.
His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
Inheritance - Wealth or property derived from one's ancestors
Is the purchasing of lottery tickets a form of gambling? Why must it be avoided?
In what way do opposite spirits underlie work and gambling?