But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God — having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.
- 2 Timothy 3:1-5
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
- 1 Timothy 6:10
“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
- Matthew 6:24
While they were bringing out the money that had been taken into the temple of the Lord, Hilkiah the priest found the Book of the Law of the Lord that had been given through Moses. Hilkiah said to Shaphan the secretary, “I have found the Book of the Law in the temple of the Lord.” He gave it to Shaphan.
Then Shaphan took the book to the king and reported to him: “Your officials are doing everything that has been committed to them. They have paid out the money that was in the temple of the Lord and have entrusted it to the supervisors and workers.” Then Shaphan the secretary informed the king, “Hilkiah the priest has given me a book.” And Shaphan read from it in the presence of the king.
When the king heard the words of the Law, he tore his robes.
- 2 Chronicles 34:14-19
I used the “Black Sox” scandal of 1919 as an illustration lately. “Shoeless” Joe Jackson and seven of his White Sox teammates agreed to play poorly and lose the World Series so that a group of gamblers could make millions. Kennesaw Mountain Landis was appointed as the first commissioner of baseball before the next baseball season started as a result. “Shoeless” Joe Jackson, easily having the right numbers to be in the Hall of Fame, is not in the Hall, due to being prohibited from all aspects of baseball, and his crime was over 100 years ago. Another not in the Hall of Fame is Pete Rose, who may have never cheated, but he was caught gambling.
In the NFL, I can remember when Alex Karras and Paul Hornung were suspended due to gambling. They both continued to play after the suspension. Hornung, the “Golden Boy,” won championships with the Green Bay Packers, and Karras became an actor – the father on Webster, but probably more famous as Mongo in Blazing Saddles. I have heard of college basketball players being suspended due to fixing the point spread.
But during the Olympics this summer, every other commercial was about online gambling. Some commercial breaks were nothing but gambling commercials. It used to be an offense worth job termination for a sportscaster to mention the point spread or even hint of gambling. Now the face of some gambling dens are the sportscasters that announce the games.
State lotteries sprung up in one state and then another. Your state might have Powerball. The next state might have Mega Millions. Then, living near a state line, you might have a company pool where you bought into both. But now 45 of the 50 states have both Powerball and Mega Millions. Do not bother trying to buy tickets in Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Nevada, and Utah. Nevada does not seem to fit that list, but they already make money from the casinos, so why add another source of income?
And that is the point, the states are in the lottery business to make money, not to hand out millions. Most people simply lose their money and the state wins. In Pennsylvania, they advertise that old people benefit from the money that the state skims off the top, but I am old, and I have not seen any benefit. We even tried to get a break on our utility rates, and we were denied.
A few years ago, there was a running back (American football) who fell to the ground rather than scoring a touchdown. It was a smart play. The game was nearly over. By falling down, his team kept possession of the ball and they simply ran out the clock to win the game, rather than scoring and allowing the other team a chance to score. But the announcers stated that this star player just made a lot of people angry. Him not scoring might make the difference in winning or losing on “Fantasy” football. I play fantasy football for a diversion, owning an entire league – thus, I always win, but I always lose. Since I cannot bet against myself, I never lose money and the book maker does not skim any money off the top, but that was what the announcers were saying. People would get angry due to the bets made on whether he scored that touchdown.
I see more “Black Sox” scandals in our future, the fixing of games to make money. The games will then not be won or lost, simply manufactured by the person with the most money. Maybe I am being foolish. This may already be the case, and the perpetrators have simply not been caught.
As Paul said to Timothy, I see “all kinds of evil.”
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.