Sunday, August 26, 2012
“And thou shalt take no gift: for the gift blindeth the wise, and perverteth the words of the righteous” (Exodus 23:8 KJV).
Today’s Scripture describes one gift that you should never accept!
Deuteronomy 16:18-20 repeats today’s Scripture: “Judges and officers shalt thou make thee in all thy gates, which the LORD thy God giveth thee, throughout thy tribes: and they shall judge the people with just judgment. Thou shalt not wrest [distort] judgment [justice]; 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. That which is altogether just [fair, right] shalt thou follow, that thou mayest live, and inherit the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.”
We can compare that to Proverbs 15:27: “He that is greedy of gain troubleth his own house; but he that hateth gifts shall live.”
In the Mosaic Law, and later in Proverbs, God told the nation Israel not to accept “gifts.” What are these “gifts?” (Hint: Today’s politicians and clergy would do well if they refused them.) By examining these verses, we see that the Bible defines the term “gift.” This “gift” “blindeth the wise:” it pollutes the judgment of even the wisest person. Furthermore, it “perverteth the words of the righteous;” that is, it causes even the saint of God to fall into the trap of lying, and maybe far worse to cover up the deception. This is no ordinary “gift.” It is, in fact, a bribe, a gift of money or other incentive given to one in authority in order for this official to act in the giver’s favor!
Notice above how Deuteronomy 16:18-20 cautioned Israel’s leaders, that they rule fairly and honestly, refusing bribes. Sadly, centuries later, two of Israel’s judges (rulers), Samuel’s sons, “turned aside after lucre [money], and took bribes, and perverted judgment” (1 Samuel 8:2). Interestingly, their shameful actions were influential in Israel’s apostate decision to have a king rule over them instead
Let our decision-making be influenced by the King James Bible rightly divided, and not by the gift to be refused.