Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Proverbs 20: Ethical Thinking & Practice

Prov 20:7 The righteous man leads a blameless life; blessed are his children after him.
Prov 20:10 Differing weights and differing measures — the Lord detests them both.
Prov 20:17 Food gained by fraud tastes sweet to a man, but he ends up with a mouth full of gravel.
Prov 20:23 The Lord detests differing weights, and dishonest scales do not please him.
Prov 20:27 The lamp of the Lord searches the spirit of a man; it searches out his inmost being
Ethics is a topic not frequently heard over pulpit -- especially work and business ethics. Dishonest declarations, bribes, sexual favours, non-monetary inducements (fully-paid oversea "conferences" with lots of time off for golf), half-truth marketing, false promises in sales, accounting frauds, false claims, dishonest scales & measurements, unnecessary surgical procedures & medications, etc. are the more obvious ones. But the list goes on.
The sad part about all this is--Christians are being swept along by the pressures and temptations of making the quick bucks and have often closed a blind eye to these unethical practices. But "the Lord detests" all these dishonest practices. ESV translates "detest" as "an abomination to the Lord" (Proverbs 20:10,23), which is an expression used for God's attitude towards homosexuality (Lev. 18:22; 20:13), human sacrifices, witchcraft and spiritism (Deut. 18:10-12). Paul warns the Galatian believers ("I warn you, as I warned you before") that such practices will bar them from inheriting the Kingdom of God (Galatians 5:19-21).
We should never soft pedal sins in the mistaken idea of protecting God's image of love and grace. God does not need us to protect his image: his name is "I AM WHO I AM". God needs no marketing agents to promote him through half-truths.
Lord, help us honor You by keeping Your name holy. Let no pressures and temptations of this world cause us to soft pedal sins because sins are abominations to You. Amen.

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