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325. Does Every Man Have His Price?

Does Every Man Have His Price?IT’S WORTH CONSIDERING
For years, many of the Pacific island nations including Palau, Micronesia, Vanuatu, and the Marshall Islands, have been among the few who have voted with Israel at the United Nations. Because of their Christian heritages, they have understood the importance of siding with Israel. Lately, however, some of these nations have mysteriously started voting against their long-time ally. It turns out that some oil-rich Arab states have been offering cash bribes in exchange for votes against Israel. Johnson Toribiong, President of the Pacific island nation of Palau, recent told Israel’s Yediot Ahronot newspaper that the UAE (United Arab Emirates) had offered him $50 million. Praise God that he told them to forget it. He made it clear that his nation would never vote against Israel.
 
One of the defectors was the impoverished Solomon Islands, which began voting against Israel back in 2009. As it turned out, the Foreign Ministry of Iran had bribed them with a $200,000 check and technological aid.

AS I SEE IT
We shouldn’t be surprised that the bribes were offered, especially when we consider who is making the offers. We should, however, be appalled that they were accepted by people who should have known better. The Bible has a lot to say about bribery, and the focus is usually not on the one making the offer. It seems to be inferring that there will always be wicked people out there who use bribery to get what they want. The books of Psalms and Proverbs were written to help those who truly wanted to live lives of righteousness and holiness:
 
A wicked man receives a bribe from the bosom to pervert the ways of justice (Proverbs 17:23).
 
Better is the little of the righteous than the abundance of many wicked (Psalm 37:16).
 
Better is a little with the fear of the Lord than great treasure and turmoil with it (Proverbs 15:16).
 
Better is a little with righteousness than great income with injustice (Proverbs 16:8).
 
Even mortal men were able to see the consequences of giving in to a bribe:
 
In my opinion it is less shameful for a king to be overcome by force of arms than by bribery.
~Sallust
 
In the last few years, the very idea of telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth is dredged up only as a final resort when the alternative options of deception, threat and bribery have all been exhausted.
~Michael Musto
 
Though the bribe be small, yet the fault is great.
~Lord Edward Coke
 
Those who give in to bribery will lose far more than they will gain. This includes nations as well as individuals. When I learned of the “turning” of the Solomon Islands, I started wondering what other practices were really disguised bribery. Borrowing from foreign nations can have the same effect as an outright bribe, and the Bible is clear that Godly nations are to be lenders and not borrowers (Deuteronomy 15:6). While we may not be able to do much about our nation’s practices, we can rid our lives of the practice. It has been said that every man has his price. Is that true of you? If the price is high enough, would you do what otherwise would be unthinkable? I’ll close with a verse to ponder.
 
For what will a man be profited if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? (Matthew 16:26)

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