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Summary: Corruption in high places - PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email:

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Accusation – Lawlessness Practiced (vs 1-5)

Condemnation – Lawlessness Punished (vs 6-8).

Vindication – Righteousness Praised (vs 9-11)



• Victor Hugo, wrote a number of very well-known novels;

• These include, ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’ & ‘Les Misérables’ (Les- Mis-era).

• One of his lesser known books is called “Ninety-Three.”

• It tells of a ship caught in a dangerous storm on the high seas.

• At the height of the storm,

• The frightened sailors heard a terrible crashing noise below the deck.

• They knew at once that this new noise was made by a cannon which had broken loose.

• It was moving back and forth with the swaying of the ship,

• Crashing into the side of the ship with terrible impact.

• Knowing that it could cause the ship to sink,

• Two brave sailors volunteered to make the dangerous attempt to retie the loose cannon.

• The sailors knew that the greater danger to the ship & crew was not the fury of the storm;

• But rather the danger from within;

• At any moment;

• The loose cannon could burst through the side of the ship and cause it to sink.

• TRANSITION: The biggest danger we all face is the corruption from within!

• It is the terrible depravity within us which can so often overwhelm & threaten us.

• Now because each of us are flawed creatures;

• We ought not to be surprised when we see corrupt behaviour in other people;

• We ought not to be surprised when we corruption in high places;

• If we had not come to faith in Jesus Christ;

• We too might be considered dishonest and crooked, untrustworthy;

• And without the filling and enabling of the Holy Spirit in our lives;

• We could so easily revert back to type – the old nature.


• A dictionary defines corruption as:

• 'to make impure, to make morally unsound, to act dishonestly, to pervert, to bribe'

• And this is can most often be seen through the abuse of entrusted power for private gain.

• According to International Chamber of Commerce;

• ‘Corruption is the single greatest obstacle to economic and social development around the world.'

• And according to the World Bank every year US $1 trillion is paid in bribes;

• While an estimated US $2.6 trillion is stolen through corruption;

• Sums equivalent to more than 5% of global Gross National Income (GNI).

• Corruption in high places is nothing new;

• Greed and abuse of power are as old as human history.

• And even though we know this to be the case;

• It is still a wonder why we are shocked or surprised;

• When we hear stories of corruption in government and among our political leaders.

• TRANSITION: In this psalm David is clearly taken aback;

• By the size and scope of political corruption of his day.

Quote: Bible commentator J.J. Stewart Perowne writes:

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