34 No Bribes

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... You shall not take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and perverts the words of the righteous.

Deuteronomy 16: 19

   The Bible says that when Moses' father-in-law came to visit Moses, he worried about Moses. He saw how tired Moses looked. Every day, many people came to Moses with their problems. Anytime there was fighting among the campers they came to Moses to help them settle their differences. Jethro suggested that a team of people be selected to help Moses deal with the camper's problems (Exodus 8: 21). Jethro mentioned a special kind of person to be picked. He needed to be a person who would not accept a bribe. What is a bribe? It is a present of value. It might be money, or special food, or an animal. It might be special clothes, jewelry or a golden box to hold jewelry. It might even be a car, or a ticket to a baseball game. Everyone likes gifts. But sometimes you are not to accept the present. Sometimes it is given to make you feel like you must not tell the truth, or not look for the truth. Don't take that gift.

Often children are urged to take a gift of a little car or Lego set so that they will not tell their parents about something bat that happened. Maybe something was broken or stolen. A cookie might be offered to keep you from telling that brother got into the cookie jar between meals while mother was out in the garden. The cookie looks so good, it is hard to say no. But remember the Bible says not to take a bribe. The Bible says, "He who hates bribes, will live." Proverbs 15: 27



Mike was speeding really fast in his new car. When he looked in his rear view mirror, he saw red and blue lights flashing. Then he heard a siren. He knew he had disobeyed the speed limit. The tall policeman came up to his car. He wrote a $200 ticket. Mike did not like his punishment. Mike talked to his lawyer and it was suggested that he get a gold coin for the policeman that was worth $100. In court, the policeman told the judge that there had been a mistake. Mike left the court very happy that his record did not have any bad marks on it. If it did, his car insurance would cost him more each month. The policeman changed his story because he was happy to have the gold coin. He lied. Was that right?

It can be hard to turn down a bribe. It is hard to say, "No, it is written, 'You shall not take a bribe', (Deuteronomy 16: 19). God needs people on His team who cannot be bought or sold. Would you like to be on God's team?