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Bible Studies
Written by Jim Jordal   
Thursday, 18 June 2015


By Jim Jordal

 And the word of the LORD came unto Zechariah, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Execute true judgment, and shew mercy and compassions every man to his brother: And oppress not the widow, nor the fatherless, the stranger, nor the poor; and let none of you imagine evil against his brother in your heart. Zechariah 7:8-10 KJV

Are there really people who “imagine evil” against their brothers? Do some people actually lie awake at night planning who they might cause to fail or fall? God says there are, no matter how such knowledge might upset our Pollyanna-like beliefs about the essential goodness of all people.

The prophet Micah put it this way: “ Woe to those who devise iniquity and work evil on their beds! When the morning is light, they practice it, because it is in the power of their hand (Micah 2:1 WEB). In other words, they lie awake devising evil schemes until morning when they put them into effect. Why? Because they can, and because their very nature demands that they do evil. It’s like Jeremiah said, “Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots? Then may you also do good, who are accustomed to do evil” (Jer. 13:23).

It’s relatively easy to believe in personal, individual forms of evil since we are surrounded by them every day. It’s more difficult to comprehend the more insidious types of national evil since they are often far away, or are shielded from exposure by compliant politicians and the corporately-owned media. But if you “read between the lines” a bit you’ll begin to perceive the depth of God’s concern with those who deliberately plan evil against the indigent and vulnerable, and now more recently against the soon-to-disappear middle class.

We seem deluded by magnanimous acts of charity by those having far more than enough wealth. You may remember the infamous “robber barons” of the Gilded Age from about 1870 through 1914. Names like John D. Rockefeller (oil), Andrew Carnegie (steel), Commodore Vanderbilt (railroads),  J. P. Morgan (banking), and others who built the American industrial colossus, but also used their skill and power to profit immensely from their positions at the top of the food chain. Using figures corrected for inflation, Rockefeller had a net worth of $340 billion, with Carnegie not far behind at $317 billion.

According to the Wikipedia People’s Encyclopedia, these giants of wealth and power amassed their monstrous fortunes through exploitative practices like “asserting control over natural resources, accruing high levels of government influence, paying extremely low wages, squashing competition by acquiring competitors in order to create monopolist and eventually raise prices,” and selling what was then known as “watered” or essentially worthless stock to unsuspecting investors.

But they weren’t all bad because they also generously returned a portion of their questionable assets to the poor, like Andrew Carnegie and his funding of public libraries, supposedly to give the poor an opportunity to learn their way to success.

Carnegie wrote a book entitled “The Gospel of Wealth” in which he defended his economic and political behavior as necessary to prosperity and economic growth, left-handedly blamed the poor for their lack of success, and surprisingly argued in favor of inheritance taxes and higher income taxes for the rich.

So the public becomes deluded as it hears of their generous gifts to charity and soon comes to venerate the same people who robbed them of their God-given rights to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” 

Did these giants of business and industry really lie awake at night planning schemes to rob the public? I don’t know, but I think it very likely that they did lots of such scheming in the corporate boardrooms of their various businesses. And it is still going on today as unscrupulous bankers, traders, and shady manipulators continue their “practices to deceive.”

Think on it!