Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Business Practices God Detests

I found the following verses in about thirty minutes.  I probably missed several.  If you think of any that I missed, please let me know.  All citations, unless noted otherwise, are from the NIV.  
 Leviticus 19:35-36 -- Do not use dishonest standards when measuring length, weight or quantity.  (36)  Use honest scales and honest weights, an honest ephah and an honest hin. I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt.
Deuteronomy 24:14-15 -- Do not take advantage of a hired man who is poor and needy, whether he is a brother Israelite or an alien living in one of your towns.  (15)  Pay him his wages each day before sunset, because he is poor and is counting on it. Otherwise he may cry to the LORD against you, and you will be guilty of sin.
Deuteronomy 25:13-16 -- Do not have two differing weights in your bag--one heavy, one light.  (14)  Do not have two differing measures in your house--one large, one small.  (15)  You must have accurate and honest weights and measures, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.  (16)  For the LORD your God detests anyone who does these things, anyone who deals dishonestly.
Proverbs 11:1 -- The LORD abhors dishonest scales, but accurate weights are his delight.
Proverbs 16:11 CEV -- The LORD doesn't like it when we cheat in business.
Proverbs 20:10 CEV -- Two things the LORD hates are dishonest scales and dishonest measures.
Proverbs 20:23 -- The LORD detests differing weights, and dishonest scales do not please him.
Proverbs 29:27 -- The righteous detest the dishonest; the wicked detest the upright.
Ezekiel 28:18 -- By your many sins and dishonest trade you have desecrated your sanctuaries. So I made a fire come out from you, and it consumed you, and I reduced you to ashes on the ground in the sight of all who were watching.
Hosea 12:7 -- The merchant uses dishonest scales; he loves to defraud.
Amos 8:4-7  Hear this, you who trample the needy and do away with the poor of the land,  (5)  saying, "When will the New Moon be over that we may sell grain, and the Sabbath be ended that we may market wheat?"-- skimping the measure, boosting the price and cheating with dishonest scales,  (6)  buying the poor with silver and the needy for a pair of sandals, selling even the sweepings with the wheat.  (7)  The LORD has sworn by the Pride of Jacob: "I will never forget anything they have done.
Micah 6:10-13  Am I still to forget, O wicked house, your ill-gotten treasures and the short ephah, which is accursed?  (11)  Shall I acquit a man with dishonest scales, with a bag of false weights?  (12)  Her rich men are violent; her people are liars and their tongues speak deceitfully.  (13)  Therefore, I have begun to destroy you, to ruin you because of your sins.
I believe God is condemning all dishonest business practices in these verses.  The banker who talks a poor working woman into a balloon mortgage she does not understand and cannot possibly pay is just as guilty as the merchant using corrupt scales. I wonder how many high paid corporate executives, who fill their warranties, contracts, and rebate instructions with confusing legalese loopholes that allow them to renege on their promises and cheat their customers are aware that the LORD their God detests them. I wonder how many corporate CEOs and small business owners whose companies do not pay their employees a living wage are aware that the God they claim to worship has said such practices make them “guilty of sin.”  I wonder how many of their pastors have had the courage to preach honestly on these passages.