FRAUD IN BUSINESS DEALINGS
Memorise: Ye shall not steal, neither deal falsely, neither lie one to another. Leviticus 19:11
Read: Nehemiah 5:1-13, 5 And there was a great cry of the people and of their wives against their brethren theJews.
Bible in one year: Psalm 21-26, Titus 2:1-3:15
God hates extortion; hence He prohibits it. In our Bible reading, after the children of Israel returned to rebuild the city of Jerusalem, the rich ones among them began to extort the poor until they cried out to Nehemiah. Nehemiah rebuked the rich who did this, and he asked them to make restitution. When this was done, there was great joy in the land. We see a similar situation in the case of Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1-10). Zacchaeus was a chief tax collector who amassed wealth by defrauding the poor. The day he received Jesus Christ, he immediately decided to share his wealth into two and give one part of it to the poor. Thereafter, he offered to apply the Mosaic Law on restitution, by restoring fourfold of whatever he fraudulently received from people (Exodus 22:1). Jesus did not tell him that his step on restitution was unnecessary, rather He reinforced it. Luke 19:9 says:
“And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham.”
Moreover, restitution equally effects employer-employee relationships. In Leviticus 19:13, God warns against extorting your workers:
“Thou shalt not defraud thy neighbour, neither rob him: the wages of him that is hired shall not abide with thee all night until the morning.”
Do you know it is wrong to withhold your worker’s salary or wages a day beyond the agreed date of payment? There are employers who sit on their staff salaries for weeks and months and expose them to untold hardship, and yet they expect their staff to be faithful in their work. That is wickedness! Such employers must make restitution by releasing the salaries and paying an inconvenience allowance. However, if the employer genuinely does not have the funds to pay the staff and he explains the situation to them before hand, he is exonerated. Some people trade with the salaries and benefits of their staff for months before releasing their pay. They do this to derive gain for themselves. This also is wickedness. Why is it that retired people who contributed all their working years to a fund cannot access their money or receive their pension after retirement? God hates fraud, whether it is perpetrated by an individual, organisation or government.
When you occupy a public office, you are accountable to God and to the people you are serving in that office.