ESOCS Devotional 20 November 2023 – Don’t Defraud Those Under Your Care
MEMORY VERSE: “The Lord will enter into judgment with the ancients of His people, and the princes thereof: for ye have eaten up the vineyard; the spoil of the poor is in your houses.” Isaiah 3:14 KJV
TEXT: ISAIAH 3:13-26; 4:1 (KJV)
The Lord standeth up to plead, and standeth to judge the people.
14 The Lord will enter into judgment with the ancients of his people, and the princes thereof: for ye have eaten up the vineyard; the spoil of the poor is in your houses.
15 What mean ye that ye beat my people to pieces, and grind the faces of the poor? saith the Lord God of hosts.
16 Moreover the Lord saith, Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing as they go, and making a tinkling with their feet:
17 Therefore the Lord will smite with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion, and the Lord will discover their secret parts.
18 In that day the Lord will take away the bravery of their tinkling ornaments about their feet, and their cauls, and their round tires like the moon,
19 The chains, and the bracelets, and the mufflers,
20 The bonnets, and the ornaments of the legs, and the headbands, and the tablets, and the earrings,
21 The rings, and nose jewels,
22 The changeable suits of apparel, and the mantles, and the wimples, and the crisping pins,
23 The glasses, and the fine linen, and the hoods, and the vails.
24 And it shall come to pass, that instead of sweet smell there shall be stink; and instead of a girdle a rent; and instead of well set hair baldness; and instead of a stomacher a girding of sackcloth; and burning instead of beauty.
25 Thy men shall fall by the sword, and thy mighty in the war.
26 And her gates shall lament and mourn; and she being desolate shall sit upon the ground.
And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach.
As read from the passage, the elders and princes were responsible for helping people, but instead they defrauded the poor. Because they were unjust leaders, Isaiah said they would be the first to receive God’s wrath. The lesson from this is that leaders will be held accountable for how they lead. If you are in a position of leadership, you must lead according to God’s just commands. Put the needs of those under you care before your own. Fulfill the purpose God intended. Don’t take advantage of them, especially those of low profile or status. Corruption brings God’s wrath.
From our text, we read that God judged the wicked leaders and princes. Why is God interested in justice? It is part of His nature; He governs the universe with justice. Again, when a church leader (and indeed other leaders in government, workplace, etc.) are unjust, the poor and the powerless suffer. Another reason is that God holds the poor in high regard. They are the ones most likely to turn to Him. So, injustice attacks the children of God. Furthermore, when we do nothing to help the poor and the oppressed, but defraud them, we are in fact colluding with the oppressor. Lastly, because we follow a just God, we must uphold justice.
It is instructive to state that it is not only in financial matters that one can be defrauded. Underplaying anything that pertains to somebody or denying one of his/her right is fraud.
Church leaders should not defraud those God has put under their care.
ESOCS Devotional 20 November 2023