Sometimes, making too much money and keeping too much money is sinful. Now please do not misunderstand the above statement. This author is no misguided socialist. Monetary profit is not wicked, and it is absolutely essential for an economy to thrive. Demeaning those who find God’s good favor and redistributing the wealth to balance the playing field is folly. One must make money in order to provide for one’s family, provide for one’s church, keep the business doors open, continue to offer a good service to the neighborhood, provide jobs for employees, save and invest for the future, and provide for the impoverished. There is no philanthropy without profitablity. However, that being said, there are times when making too much money and keeping too much money is wicked in the eyes of God.
Within the book of Leviticus, there are several passages that deal with biblical economic principles. The two passages listed below should prove the point of this devotional, and whet your appetite to find additional business principles from God’s civil legislation:
Leviticus 19:9-10 “When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, neither shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest. And you shall not strip your vineyard bare, neither shall you gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the LORD your God.”
Leviticus 25:35-38 “If your brother becomes poor and cannot maintain himself with you, you shall support him as though he were a stranger and a sojourner, and he shall live with you. Take no interest from him or profit, but fear your God, that your brother may live beside you. You shall not lend him your money at interest, nor give him your food for profit. I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt to give you the land of Canaan, and to be your God.”
Clearly, in Leviticus 19, the farmer and vineyard owner was to prepare, sow, labor, pray, wait, and harvest. He was to pursue a bountiful harvest that would provide cash and comfort for his family and community. The Lord had given him land, health, seed, water, and protection from infestation and disease. The Lord expected him to make the most of the talents he had been given. However, the Lord also expected him not to keep all that he made. He was to leave some of his profit in the field and on the vine. By doing so, he was to provide for those less fortunate. God encouraged the rich to redistribute their own wealth. Therefore, the law-keeping worshiper of God would glorify the Father by giving a fair portion of his profit away.
Additionally, when one reviewed the principle put forth in Leviticus 25 and other passages, he understood there was a time when charging interest was forbidden by God. The Bible did not forbid all loans which provided a profit for the banker. However, when a “brother” found another “brother” buffeted by God’s hard providence and sorely distressed, he was not to loan money seeking to make interest or profit. Therefore, the law-keeping worshiper of God would glorify the Father by giving interest-free loans. He would seek to make his righteous, windfall profit somewhere else.
Therefore, Christian businessmen today should pray for and pursue great financial profitability. For without God’s monetary blessing, one’s business will go under, along with one’s ability to bless his family, employees, church and community. Work hard; work wise; and take as much of Egypt’s wealth as God will allow you go possess. Wealthy, profitable Christians have the ability to be a great blessing to the Kingdom of God. However, as one thrives to win in the marketplace, he should seek to glorify the Father by finding some select opportunities to forgo profit to love a brother. Additionally, he should of his own accord, and not because of governmental interference, seek to redistribute his own wealth in order to bless less fortunate souls.