Bribes and Justice

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"Then one of the twelve, named Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests, and said, "What are you willing to give me to deliver Him up to you?" (Matthew 26:14-15a). "And you shall not take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the clear-sighted and subverts the cause of the just." (Exodus 23:8).

Bribes and gifts fall into the same category when used for evil or when used to influence decisions in ones favor. There are some societies in this world where giving and receiving bribes is standard practice. Indeed, many people in this country operate on the basis of; ‘what's in it for me?' That is why most organizations limit the value of gifts given or received to be less than twenty five dollars.

Rich and famous people can become so blinded with money they think the rules do not apply to them. They have become delusional in thinking that if they wave a little money around then others should be at their beck and call. God disapproves bribes of any kind. "You shall not distort justice; you shall not be partial, and you shall not take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and perverts the words of the righteous." (Deuteronomy 16:19).

Proverbs 17 - Teaches us today?

Proverbs 17:8 "(8) A bribe is a charm in the sight of its owner; Wherever he turns, he prospers."

Psalm 62:1-4 (Theme: No Other Hope). "(1) My soul waits in silence for God only; From Him is my salvation. (2) He only is my rock and my salvation, My stronghold; I shall not be greatly shaken. (3) How long will you assail a man, That you may murder him, all of you, Like a leaning wall, like a tottering fence? (4) They have counseled only to thrust him down from his high position; They delight in falsehood; They bless with their mouth, But inwardly they curse."

Today's question. Is justice blind?

"A wicked man receives a bribe from the bosom to pervert the ways of justice." (Proverbs 17:23).

The statue, ‘Lady Justice' is usually depicted with a sword, scales and blindfold to indicate that justice is blind to the shinning lights of evil influence. The blindfold indicates that justice is to be objective and given without favor; nor does it recognize the status of the individual.

Unfortunately, justice is often subverted based on class, race and money. God is just and he expects others to be just. God provides these teachings because he wants his children not to give or receive bribes and to speak out against injustice.

"He who walks righteously, and speaks with sincerity, He who rejects unjust gain, And shakes his hands so that they hold no bribe; he who stops his ears from hearing about bloodshed, And shuts his eyes from looking upon evil; He will dwell on the heights; His refuge will be the impregnable rock; His bread will be given him; His water will be sure." (Isaiah 33:15-16).

Dear God, give us the courage to speak out against injustice and doing business in unethical ways. Amen.

The Newness Of Life Daily Bible Message is designed for those who like to take a short respite from the day's responsibilities to enjoy the contemplation of God's word. This daily message is based primarily upon the belief that to read some of Proverbs and some of Psalm everyday will provide us with great spiritual growth and development when done consistently with discipline.  Phillip Saxton and contibute to Newness Of Life Ministries (NOL) Phillip Saxton, www.NewnessOfLife.com. Phillip can be reached at saxton AT MiTowne dot com

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