Thursday, February 26, 2015

Gaining Favor

Solomon had much to say about bribes. No doubt his success as king and his great wisdom made him extremely popular. Surely, those who were people of means would court his prestige and power and knew it would bring great dividends they could not achieve on their own. Actually, it’s no different today than it was when he was at the prime of his career.

“A gift - actually a bribe - opens the door for the giver and ushers him into the presence of the great,” Solomon mused. A similar word for “bribe” is found in chapter 17 - verses 8 and 23. However, in this verse it is much more general and really is not significant. But the idea of one wanting to purchase a favor from someone who has more power and influence than they, and wanting something they did not deserve or earn is the same.

Getting into the presence of the powerful, for most of us, would be difficult. The road to their “seat” is narrow and contains many barriers and blockades and is usually blocked by “gate keepers.” But, if one is cunning and has acquired the fine art of manipulating others, many things become possible. The appropriate “donation” during a political campaign may be just what is needed after a victorious election. So, many “hedge their bets.”

Unfortunately, bribing anyone at any time for anything is wrong in the eyes of God. It encourages wickedness and dishonesty in the hearts of the receiver and the giver.

Living honestly and with integrity is God’s way to live.

Prayer:  Help us, Lord, to abandon all practices that are deceitful and displeasing to You and live honorably! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture for Today: Proverbs 18:16 A gift opens the way and ushers the giver into the presence of the great.

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