The Psalm writer wrote: Open my eyes, that I may behold Wonderful things from Your law. As we come before a Holy God and hear his word, may we have eyes open to the wonderful and fearful things from his law. May it move us to repent and seek forgiveness, fear disobedience, and live in light of the grace we have received. This is the word of God. It is eternally true and applicable for all of life.
Proverbs 17:21-28 He who sires a fool does so to his sorrow, And the father of a fool has no joy. A joyful heart is good medicine, But a broken spirit dries up the bones. A wicked man receives a bribe from the bosom To pervert the ways of justice. Wisdom is in the presence of the one who has understanding, But the eyes of a fool are on the ends of the earth. A foolish son is a grief to his father And bitterness to her who bore him. It is also not good to fine the righteous, Nor to strike the noble for their uprightness. He who restrains his words has knowledge, And he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding. Even a fool, when he keeps silent, is considered wise; When he closes his lips, he is considered prudent.
In the history of the world there is no clearer example of a bribe being received to perpetuate an injustice, than the example we find on the pages of scripture when we read of Judas taking the 30 pieces of silver to betray the sinless, perfect, Jesus Christ. Judas, a disciple of our Lord Jesus, walked with Him, ate with Him, sat under His teaching, and observed the miracles. This son of perdition, enslaved to the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, motivated by the prospect of gain, was willing to pervert justice against an innocent man for a few pieces of silver, and wound up hanging by his neck.
A wicked man receives a bribe from the bosom To pervert the ways of justice.
Bribes can come in many forms. Money is probably the most obvious motivator for someone willing to perpetuate an injustice against another. However, things like fame, affirmation, notoriety, influence, power, and position are powerful incentives which can be dangled in front of the faces of those all too willing to engage in a round of perverting justice.
Take the BLM movement for example. Their website states “The call for black lives to matter is a rallying cry for ALL black lives striving for liberation”. This sounds like a very noble cause. Who could possibly be against a movement whose end goal is the liberation of all those who are trapped in a system in which they are “systematically targeted for demise”?
Well, if you are a Christian, you ought to be against this movement for many reasons. For example, one of the ways BLM recruits followers is by appealing to the base lusts of folks who are desperate to have their pet sins affirmed. Their website states :
“We affirm the lives of black queer and trans folks, disabled folks, undocumented folks, folks with records, women, and all black lives along the gender spectrum”.
“We make space for transgendered brothers and sisters to lead”.
“We are self reflexive and do the work required to dismantle cisgender privledge”.
“We practice empathy”.
“We disrupt the western-prescribed nuclear family structure.”
I could easily go on, but hopefully you get the point, which is this: BLM is seeking to bribe folks trapped in sin with the promise of a world full of safe spaces from which they can live out their perversions, all in the name of JUSTICE, while simultaneously ignoring and denying justice to millions of unborn black children and the black children born into fatherless homes. As they appeal to the base lusts of so many in the name of seeking justice, they actually promote an environment where injustice will flourish. An obvious example is their goal to disrupt the very foundation of civilizations, the nuclear family. Moving further away from this framework of father, mother, married for life, raising children with dad going to work and mom as the keeper of the home, BLM seeks to create an environment where the injustice and oppression that they desire to be free from, will actually be inherent in their system, as more and more black children are born into fatherless homes. Denying the mountain of evidence that clearly shows the damaging impact of fatherlessness, BLM plays bait and switch with folks trapped in sin by bribing them with their hearts desire: unfettered sex life, abortion on demand, freedom from any law that may prevent you from expressing yourself however you see fit. It is really a classic case of worshipping and serving the creature, rather than the Creator.
Matthew Henry says:
1. What an evil thing bribery is: He is a wicked man that will take a gift to engage him to give a false testimony, verdict, or judgment; when he does it he is ashamed of it, for he takes it, with all the secresy imaginable, out of the bosom where he knows it is laid ready for him; it is industriously concealed, and so slyly that, if he could, he would hide it from his own conscience. A gift is taken out of the bosom of a wicked man (so some read it); for he is a bad man that gives bribes, as well as he that takes them.
2. What a powerful thing it is. It is of such force that it perverts the ways of judgment. The course of justice is not only obstructed, but turned into injustice; and the greatest wrongs are done under colour of doing right.
BLM aren’t the only one’s guilty of this. I cannot recall how many times justice has been perverted in my home through the taking of a bribe.
Consider this scenario:
You have had a long, difficult, frustrating week at work. Friday afternoon rolls around, and in your mind you have made big plans for the weekend: going to do some light reading, throw back a few beers, work in your garden, maybe go fishing, or perhaps indulge in a movie or two, because heck, you never get to pick. This weekend, you are gonna do you.
Then a kid winds up sick.
Your car breaks down.
It rains all weekend.
Your wife had already made plans.
And just when you finally get to sit down and crack open that beer and a book, some conflict breaks out in the home. Maybe it is an episode of disrespect between a child and his mother. Perhaps some Cain and Able throwdown is taking place 2 feet away. Maybe your husband or wife decides to make some other plans, and now, everything you had going on is about to get blown up.
How do you respond?
Does the promise of a refreshing beer override the need to help resolve the conflict that broke out?
Is the page of the book you are on so life changing, that you are actually considering allowing your son’s disrespect of his mother to go uncorrected?
Is the reward, or bribe, offered by that thing you so desperately wanted to do, worth more to you than seeking justice, loving mercy, and walking humbly with your LORD?
Is the light, momentary affliction of a broken down car or sick kid, so burdensome, that you have forgotten that what awaits those who persevere and overcome is an eternal weight of glory, so you rage against it rather than viewing it as The Battle God has put before you here and now to wage war against?
Brothers and sisters, we have a very vivid picture of injustice being painted for us right now as anarchists burn monuments to the ground, loot small businesses, and BLM engages in an information war seeking to overthrow history and facts. We ought to watch this scene unfold very carefully, and learn the valuable lessons from it. One very big lesson is that sin, and the enticement of it, can sway us into a lifestyle which perverts justice, in the public square, and in the home, all for a few moments of satisfaction.
Please join me in kneeling if you are able, as we confess our sins to God, Who is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins.
Your Word declares that You are a righteous judge Who is angry with the wicked every day.
Father, you are perfectly righteous, holy, and just, and it is by these standards that we are and will be judged. Though we are Your children, born again, new creations, the old nature creeps up behind and rises up inside us, and far too often we succumb to the carnal rewards that sin offers.
Father You have given us Your Son Jesus. We have tasted and seen that He is so good. Yet because of the deceitfulness of sin, and our willingness at times to be deceived, we find ourselves taking the bribe offered by sin, and watch as justice in our streets and homes is perverted and trampled upon in the process.
Merciful Father, please forgive us for these vile sins against You. Forgive us for being all too willing to trade the fleeting pleasures of sin, for the eternal promises of Glory.
In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
Please join me in standing, and listen to the comforting assurance of the grace of God, promised in the gospel to all that believe:
Psalm 37:7-11 Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes. Cease from anger and forsake wrath; Do not fret; it leads only to evildoing. For evildoers will be cut off, But those who wait for the Lord, they will inherit the land. Yet a little while and the wicked man will be no more; And you will look carefully for his place and he will not be there. But the humble will inherit the land And will delight themselves in abundant prosperity.
To all those who thus repent and seek Jesus Christ for their salvation, your sins are forgiven in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Lift up your hearts!
/(From the 06/07/2020 liturgy of Sovereign King Church written by Aaron Sabie.)