“Morning by morning, O Lord, you hear my voice”

Psalm 5:3

More Beggary Than Goodhap Behoof

(Please read Hebrews 13:5-6)

November 6

Not much is being written these days about the evils of gambling, but Millennial Harbinger had a lot to say about it in the mid-1800’s. In an October 1856 article, having stated that gambling was evil because it produced nothing, an author added, “If the whole human family were all skillful gamesters, and should play constantly for a whole year, there would not be a dollar more in the world at the end of the year than at its commencement.”

In July 1854, Alexander Campbell had written of gambling as “profanely calling upon God to interfere, or to direct my interest and behoof, without any other reason than the price paid for my lottery ticket.” He pictured a group of lottery participants as prayerful people in a way – “one hundred men upon their knees, all praying to God, and each one for himself asking the Lord so to turn the wheel as that the stakes of ninety-nine of my neighbors shall roll into my pocket.” And in 1860 he deplored “the popular currency of this word, or family of words – ‘Luck,’ ‘Fortune,’ ‘Goodhap.’”

The 1856 article characterized gambling as covetousness and counseled, “Think of how many families have been plunged by it into beggary.”

Well, laws of the land have changed. But laws of probabilities have not. Gambling appeals to greed, which makes it easier for shady operators to fleece the populace under the auspices of their own misguided laws. We don’t doubt that eventually people will rue the day they began trusting in the gods of chance rather than the God of heaven. May He hasten their repentance.

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