Summary: A sermon from Hosea 12:7-9 on riches badly used, riches badly made, and riches badly ended (Outline from Pulpit Commentary)
Amanda Krill- It’s not personal, it’s just business. I’m sure you’ve heard that phrase. They say it a lot in the movie The Godfather. But that’s a movie about the mafia, and I’m pretty sure we can all agree their ethics are questionable at best. In my experience, what you do in your business is a very good example of how you really are. For me, there is no gap between business and personal. My business IS personal. I take pride in my business, and in my work, and I don’t want anyone to say, “She does good work, but she’s kind of a jerk…” I think this huge discrepancy between business and personal is the exact reason why so many businesses are failing these days. If you can’t be ethical in your business, I don’t think you can be ethical in your life.
Today’s business leaders hold a great deal of sway in our society. America has long celebrated the spirit of men and women who have launched innovative and successful companies. In generations past, honest and generous CEOs were rewarded with loyal employees, customers and clients. In recent years, however, greater numbers of large corporations are becoming characterized by deception, greed, and even fraudulent activity.
This Labor Day we need to pray for our workplace, our businesses and our economy. Integrity is important to a strong economy. Great deal of business is based on trust.
Thesis: Let’s talk about riches badly used, badly made, and badly ended from Hosea 12:7-9
Notice how many times Ephraim used person pronoun in vs. 8. Everything focused on self.
“I did it all by myself. I am a self made man or woman.” Two problems with this idea.
1. No recognition of others who helped.
Riches are almost always combined efforts of a group of people. One with riches does not think of the toil, the sweat, the exhaustion of those who have helped to put it into their hands.
Daniel 4:29-32: as the king was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, he said, “Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?” The words were still on his lips when a voice came from heaven, “This is what is decreed for you, King Nebuchadnezzar: Your royal authority has been taken from you. You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like cattle. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes.”
2. No appreciation or acknowledgment of God.
Deuteronomy 8:17-18: You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth”
They trust in their riches more than they trust in the Lord. Don’t even need the Lord. 1 Timothy 6:17-19: Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.
Take little thought of the life to come!
Riches badly made
1. By fraud Vs. 7-
If the riches amassed through fraud were suddenly taken away, how great would be the economic crash throughout the world!
Amos 8:5-6: “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, buying the poor with silver and the needy for a pair of sandals, selling even the sweepings with the wheat.
Boosting the price, literally “making the ephah small, and the shekel great”. In other words, the buyer gets less product than he should. When selling to merchant he get less money than he should.
Cheating with dishonest scales, rigging the scales in the merchants favor. Archaeologists in Tirzah, a ancient city in Israel, made an interesting discovery. Two set of weights were found, one for buying and one for selling. Dishonesty in favor of the merchant.
Buying the poor with silver and the needy for a pair of sandals- By cheating the man they made him so poor that he had to sell himself into slavery. For the smallest debt- a pair of sandals- the poor were sold into slavery.