Proverbs 27:17

Proverbs 27:17

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Hosea 12:7-8 (Daily Verse and Comment)

  Hosea 12:7-8

(7) He is a merchant, the balances of deceit are in his hand: he loveth to oppress. (8) And Ephraim said, Yet I am become rich, I have found me out substance: in all my labours they shall find none iniquity in me that were sin. 
King James Version   Change your email Bible version

In Hosea 12:7-8God speaks directly to businessmen: "A cunning Canaanite [or merchant]! Deceitful scales are in his hand; he loves to oppress. And Ephraim said, 'Surely I have become rich, I have found wealth for myself; in all my labors they shall find in me no iniquity that is sin.'" Here, the Israelite merchant brushes away his sin by saying that his wealth proves he is blameless, yet God shows him for what he is: a boastful, deceitful, and oppressing sinner.

Amos 2:6-7 expands on some of his deeds:

Thus says the LORD: "For three transgressions of Israel, and for four, I will not turn away its punishment, because they sell the righteous for silver, and the poor for a pair of sandals. They pant after the dust of the earth which is on the head of the poor, and pervert the way of the humble."

From His vantage point in heaven, He sees businessmen selling out their employees for a little extra profit. He watches them greedily taking advantage of every opportunity to squeeze every last bit of wealth out of customers, especially the poor and the weak. He takes note of every time they corrupt someone to fatten their bottom line. He later mentions their trampling of the poor, harsh terms, and profligate lifestyles (Amos 5:11); their taking of bribes and interfering in the judicial system (verse 12); and their undermining of religious practices, cheating, and selling inferior products (Amos 8:5-6).

Isaiah adds that this condition runs rampant through the entire nation, not just the mighty businessmen (see Isaiah 1:4-6). He suggests that, if the common man were in the high-and-mightys' shoes, he would do the exact same, sinful things! He mentions them in Isaiah 1:21-23:

How the faithful city has become a harlot! It was full of justice; righteousness lodged in it, but now murderers. Your silver has become dross, your wine mixed with water. Your princes are rebellious, and companions of thieves; everyone loves bribes, and follows after rewards. They do not defend the fatherless, nor does the cause of the widow come before them.

What we are observing in American business was inevitable. The anything-for-increased-profits model of business can only produce inequities, mediocre products and services, and strife, and these, along with the workings of a relentless market economy that punishes inefficiency, will destroy even the mightiest of corporations. And who usually ends up suffering? The little guy, the poor, the weak. We need to watch for these business breakdowns, as they are signs that a crisis looms.

— Richard T. Ritenbaugh

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