Deuteronomy 16:19 Thou shalt not wrest judgment; thou shalt not respect persons, neither take a gift: for a gift doth blind the eyes of the wise, and pervert the words of the righteous.
Canada and the U.S. pride themselves in being democratic countries. The boast is that in a democracy the people choose their leaders. This week we have seen a situation in the U.S. where the Republicans have been trying to choose a speaker of the house of Congress.
It took four days and fifteen votes to get a speaker in place. A small group of 20 individuals from the Republican side decided they were not going to vote for the man who wanted to be speaker. Over the course of the days involved, they nominated several other people as speaker. None of those people could come close to getting the votes needed to take over. Eventually the man who first announced his bid for the position won out.
Over those fifteen votes compromises were made. The losers in all of this will be the people of the U.S. It has been interesting to listen to the corrupt media reporting on this whole matter. Keep in mind that we are constantly being told that democracy is a good form of government. Democracy was played out in this whole matter. Yet the media and others claimed that the Republicans were in a state of chaos. Four days is hardly a long time when we consider that these people will have a voice in the direction that the U.S. takes over the next two years.
The man who won the speakership is not an honest man. He is not trustworthy. However, through persistence, he won out. The twenty hold-outs claim they won some major concessions, but as in Canadian politics, we already know that the committees that will be set up will cost large amounts of tax-payer dollars but little of any worth will be accomplished. A person does not need to be a prophet to figure this out. All you have to do is observe the nature of the beast.
It is a number of years now since we had a major issue in our Manitoba Legislature that could not be resolved. This had to do with the Meech Lake Accord, which was a federal matter. In order for that agreement to pass, the provinces had to agree to the terms of the accord. There was one politician, a native man who held an eagle feather and refused to bend. He scuttled the Meech Lake Accord as he put his faith in that eagle feather and refused to yield to the pressure of other politicians. To some he became a hero and to others he was a problem. That eagle feather represented his pagan religion.
God commanded the nation of Israel that they were not to wrest judgment. Wresting judgment has to do with perverting judgment. Israel was to be a nation of true justice. They were that at times, but often they were corrupt. The fear of the Lord is essential in order to be just.
Israel was also not to respect persons. It did not matter if it was the king or a wealthy business man or a poor man in the nation, justice was to be based on God’s law. It is important to God that His people treat one another with respect. We know that God certainly does that. He does not play favourites.
The Hebrews were also not to take a gift. They were not to take bribes. God tells us that accepting a gift in this manner will blind the eyes. The person who can be bought will pervert the words of the righteous.
King Ahab tried to bribe Naboth to sell him his vineyard. Naboth could not be bought. He had a higher principle than money. Jezebel stepped in and stole Naboth’s land for Ahab. She set up some liars and had Naboth murdered and then gave the vineyard to Ahab for nothing, at least outwardly it was for nothing. King Ahab was happy to take that vineyard even though he knew he gained it through corruption. God was not at all pleased with what had taken place and he judged Ahab for his corruption. Jezebel also faced the wrath of God. Her end was anything but pleasant and honourable. It was just and it was necessary.
We can go back into the earlier history of the nation of Israel and see that Joseph’s ten brothers were bought off for twenty pieces of silver. That sale was very costly for those ten brothers. They lived with the guilt of that deal for the rest of their lives. Even after Jacob (Israel) died, they still could not let that sin rest. They never sought for nor received God’s forgiveness and thus even though Joseph forgave them, they were still guilty before God.
We can skip ahead into the New Testament and we find that Judas was willing to sell the Lord Jesus Christ for thirty pieces of silver. We might say he did better than Joseph’s brothers. They had to split that twenty pieces of silver between ten brothers. That left each brother with two pieces of silver. Judas had those thirty pieces of silver all to himself. It did not matter though because it was still unjust money and he eventually threw that money back to the chief priests and elders, and went out and hanged himself. He is suffering in torment now and will be for all eternity. His act of betraying the Lord Jesus Christ was not worth all the money in the world, never mind those thirty pieces of silver.
As we look at these events, the question each one of us needs to consider is: what is your price?” What will it take for you to cave in to the demands of the ungodly?
We know in Joseph’s case, he refused to cave in. He was a worthy servant of Potiphar. He did not bend to the evil wishes of Potiphar’s wife. He was willing to go to prison, rather than sin before God. That is the key for us all to consider. Joseph understood that every thought and every action he took was known to God. He was a true believer in God and refused to allow his flesh to get in the way of God’s glory.
Due to his godly convictions, he was hated by his ten brethren. He spent some time as a faithful servant of Potiphar. Rather than be able to marry and beginning his own household, he was a servant in someone else’s house. He was a faithful servant who could be trusted. When Potiphar’s wife lied about him, he stood true to God and he spent a few years in prison. However, even there, he was a faithful testimony. He had occasion to help two other men with dreams they had. He did not demand payment for helping them. He requested that the butler would remember him when he received his job back. The butler promptly forgot about Joseph, but he remained true to God.
God had a plan that Joseph did not know at that time. He would learn of that plan in a few short years. Joseph came out much better than his ten brothers. He was able to nourish them and their families. He was also able to marry and have children of his own. He was also blessed with a double blessing from Jacob under God’s direction. Joseph’s name lives on as a faithful servant of God. There was no price that could corrupt him.
That is what every true child of God must determine. The devil will wave his lures in front of our eyes. He will try what he thinks will get us to fall. Is there a price you would fall for? What is the level of your conviction? God gives us tests along the way to see how stedfast we are in our walk with Him. He knows our weakness. He also knows that He can keep us from falling. It is important to know Him and trust Him.
Today is the Lord’s day. This day comes around once in seven days. God set this day so that all people could take the time to find a good church to attend. For those who are saved it is a time to go and enjoy assembling together with other saints. It is also a time for saints to be challenged in their walk with the Lord. The Bible calls that fellowship.
For those who are lost, it is an opportunity to once again hear a challenge from God’s Word that is designed to help you to see your need to repent toward God and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for your salvation. You have put this important decision off until this time. Why not stop fighting a losing battle and go to a good church today and listen to the Word of God and get saved. Ask God to take the burden of sin away from you and begin to learn how to walk in the midst of His blessings. You will never be sorry.