The merchant uses dishonest scales; he loves to defraud. Hosea 12:7
We hear and read much about corruption and questionable tactics in the business world. The abuses are symptoms of humankind's greed, found in societies the world over.
Hosea describes this greed in the words of our text. He shows that the desire for gain, acquired by deception and at the expense of the buyer, occurs frequently.
The merchant who resorts to deceit, the storekeeper who gives customers short weight, the dealer who mislabels the goods, the salesperson who hides the defects of a product -- all of these may deceive the buyer but their craftiness does not escape divine scorn. The commandment "Thou shalt not steal" applies to the dubious deals that are passed off as "good business."
It is, of course, possible to be a Christian businessperson and to adhere to the principles of fairness and honesty. This is the only policy that wins divine approval.
PRAYER: Keep us always, O Lord, in the way of honesty and truth; through Jesus Christ, who came to be the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Amen.
(Devotions from "The Abundant Life" copyright 1998, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time e-mailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)