Cup Of Faith Daily Devotional 24 October 2022 – The Evil Of Extortion
Yaba Baptist Church: Cup Of Faith Daily Devotional 24 October 2022 – The Evil Of Extortion
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TOPIC: The Evil Of Extortion
BIBLE TEXT: “In you are people who accept bribe to shed blood; you take interest and make a profit from the poor. You extort unjust gain from your neighbors. And you have forgotten me, declares the Sovereign LORD.” – Ezekiel 22:12
One of the evils of the day is extortion. Extortion is a trending social evil that is eating so deep into the fabrics of the society. It is another sinful practice closely related to bribery. By definition, extortion “is a criminal offense that occurs when a person unlawfully obtains money, property, or services from another person or entity by means of particular types of threats.” People extort to gain something at the expense of their victims and they resort to brutality when their demands are not met.
Using the original Greek word ‘harpax’, John Ritenbaugh describes extortion as robbery by violence. The Greek word, ‘harpax’, means “to obtain by violence, threat, oppression, or abuse of authority.” It is an adjective that literally describes a grappling iron used in warfare, and so it means ” grasping that to which one has no right.” In other words, he who extorts by any means steals by violence. He obtains things from others by force, intimidation, or undue power.
While some extortioners gain so much at the expense of the poor, there are those who increase their wealth by the acts of murder, brutality and violence. Many people depend on extortion for survival and they support their families with their ill gotten wealth. Very unfortunately, the virus of extortion has found its way into the church, corrupting the saints.
Just as it was in Jerusalem according to today’s text, so it is in our society. Part of the sins of Jerusalem that God identified and judged was extortion as clearly stated in this text. This implies that God frowns at people who extort money and other things from others. He does not only detest extortion, He equally judges the practice of it.
The New Testament has some very strong statements against extortion. Jesus Christ condemns the Pharisees for extorting from the people. They used their office to intimidate the people into giving offerings as in Matthew 23:25. He equally admonishes the tax collector to avoid stealing from people by not collecting more than his due as stated in Luke 3:12-13. As Paul wrote to the Corinthian Christians in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, he identified extortioners as part of those that shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
Beloved of God, every form of extortion is a sin. The Bible teaches against dishonest gain. Believers must not lie, steal, take bribes or use extortion. According to Ecclesiastes 7:7, “Extortion turns a wise man into a fool, and a bribe corrupts the heart.” In other words, being an extortioner is parallel to being a fool. Therefore, repent and be wise.
I pray for you today:
- May the Lord deliver you from the spirit of extortion.
- He will free you from every power feasting on you unnecessarily.
- The Lord will uproot the seed of extortion in our system.
- Today, the Lord will connect you to the source of true wealth.
- Receive grace to make it this week.
So shall it be in Jesus name. Amen
Have a blessed day and a prosperous week.
CHRIST IS THE ANSWER.
Yours in Christ,
Revd Dr. Bayo Sola Aremu
Yaba Baptist Church
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