(#101) The Proverbs of Solomon 15:27-Bribery Will Get You Nowhere—Good!

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 15:27: “He who is greedy for gain troubles his own house, But he who hates bribes will live.”

Those who are “greedy for gain” will accept “bribes.” The size of the bribe determines the “loyalty” of the perverse! The truth in this proverb is amplified in the teaching of the Apostle Paul: “But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness” (1 Timothy 6:9-11).

A “bribe” is something paid behind the back, under the table, or in the open for influence, profits the one receiving the bribe, who then perverts judgment. “Bribes” destroy justice, fairness, honesty, and will overthrow “the land.” “The king establishes the land by justice, But he who receives bribes overthrows it” (Proverbs 29:4). A government is overthrown when: back-door deals determine how a politician votes; lobbyists provide greedy politicians selfish gain for their votes;  “civil service” no longer is the desire of “civil servants;” lawyers gain more from their cases than their clients; judges rule according to political power and personal advantage than “blind justice.” What used to be called “bribery” in the retail world, is now “kickbacks,” “sweeteners,” “carrots.” The practice of bribing officials, that used to imprison mobsters for “corruption,” now is called “investments,” “campaign funds,” “foundations,” “lobbying,” “inducements.” Jay Leno once quipped: “Earlier this week the Senate voted 97-to-0 for tougher regulations. For example, when corporations buy a senator, they must now get a receipt.” Denis Kearney has summed up government corruption with these words: “They have seized upon the government by bribery and corruption. They have made speculation and public robbery a science. They have loaded the nation, the state, the county, and the city with debt.” American Founder George Washington said: “Few men have virtue to withstand the highest bidder.” Solomon said: “A wicked man accepts a bribe behind the back To pervert the ways of justice” (Proverbs 17:23). God banned bribes in Moses’ Law: “And you shall take no bribe, for a bribe blinds the discerning and perverts the words of the righteous” (Exodus 23:8). God knows human nature better than humans do, and that even “the righteous” can be changed from what’s right by bribery. Church leaders like preachers, priests, bishops, and elders further their perversion of truth because of bribes.

“A gift in secret pacifies anger, And a bribe behind the back, strong wrath” (Proverbs 21:14). Bribery is but for a fleeting moment of relief from an immediate situation, but whoever takes the bribe has shown a conscience that has a price. Someone else’s “price” will also be accepted!

“Surely oppression destroys a wise man’s reason, And a bribe debases the heart” (Ecclesiastes 7:7). Because only corruption and compromised principles of righteousness are associated with “bribery,” God cannot be bribed! “For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality nor takes a bribe” (Deuteronomy 10:17). “But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality” (Colossians 3:25). Bribery will get you nowhere with God, and nowhere for good!

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #bribery, #corruption, #god, #partiality, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #righteousness

Study Bible notes: Acts 24

Life is not fair! Or so it seems. Paul gets stuck two years in prison, against Roman law, for nothing. But God has his plans.

Add your study notes in the comments section on Acts 24. Previous chapters can be accessed at this tag. We’re in the final stretch!

This chapter would make a good study on corruption in government and God’s purposes, would it not? Not to mention applying to those people who say they’ll get around to the gospel when they have more time. You’ve probably heard a few of those.

#acts-24, #corruption, #study-bible-notes

An Action And A Reaction

When I think of an action and a reaction, I immediately think of Galations 6:7-8 (NKJV), where Paul states:

“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.”

If we engage [sow] in the immoral vices of this world, i.e., “the flesh” (cf. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Galations 5:19-21; Ephesians 5:3-5; 1 Timothy 1:9-10), we will not inherit the blessings of eternity (1 Corinthians 6:10; Galations 5:21; Ephesians 5:5). But, if we choose to follow [sow to ourselves] the teachings of the Bible that the Holy Spirit has provided for us, i.e., “the Spirit,” we will reap or inherit those eternal blessings that God has promised all of those who love Him (2 Timothy 4:7-8). Note the action of sowing and the reaction of reaping in this principle.

To go along with Galations 6:7-8, Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 9:6 (NKJV) regarding our giving:

“But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.”

The same principle of sowing and reaping (action and reaction) holds true in our giving. If we sow sparingly, we will reap sparingly. If we sow bountifully, we will reap bountifully (cf. 2 Corinthians 8).

God’s principle of sowing and reaping (action and reaction) is simple. It’s putting the principle into practice that is difficult for many folks, including those in the Lord’s church.

#blessing, #corruption, #deceive, #eternal, #flesh, #giving, #inherit, #mock, #principle, #promise, #reap, #sow, #spirit, #true

Three Great Life Principles

Three great life principles that Christians live by are:

1) Luke 6:38: “Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you” (cf. Proverbs 11:24; Proverbs 19:17; 2 Corinthians 9:6).

We can’t outgive God (cf. Malachi 3:10).

2) Luke 12:48: “For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more” (cf. 1 Corinthians 9:16-23).

Those folks who have been blessed with much (talents, monies, etc.), much will be required of them

Example: Parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30).

3) Galations 6:7-8: “Whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life” (2 Corinthians 9:6).

Example: Rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-25).

#bosom, #committed, #corruption, #everlasting, #give, #life, #measure, #pressed, #principles, #reap, #required, #running, #shaken, #sow

Corruption Wins

From the opinion page of the El Paso Times, comes the following observation by Rogelio Lopez:

“Everyone knows corruption and politics go hand in hand but nobody seems to want to break that bond.
Where did we lose the true meaning of this country? Why should all our “representatives” be millionaires and gaining?

How does that represent someone who lives off of Social Security?”

He then ends his article by saying, “I’m lost.”

My response to his statement: “Join the crowd, I’m lost as well, Mr. Lopez.”

#bond, #corruption, #country, #lost, #meaning, #millionaire, #observation, #opinion, #politics, #representative