Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Selling the Righteous

Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Israel, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they sold the righteous for silver, and the poor for a pair of shoes; Amos 2:6

To sell the righteous: The innocent are declared guilty for a bribe; and rich men sell into slavery poor honest people whose only crime was that they were in debt to them, sometimes only to the value of a pair of shoes. This sale of the innocent man gives the connection with the story of Joseph, spoken of by the Rabbis as the innocent victim of hatred and slander.

(Hertz, Dr. J.H., The Pentateuch and Haftorahs, 2nd Ed., Soncino Press, London, 1992, pg 152)


  1. It seems as if we haven't completely severed ourself from the world, and there is any ounce of materialism or Babylon left in us, that there is a "price" where we can be bought. For some it's a pair of shoes, others it is more.

    I would suspect that the greater the persecution and pressure, the quicker our price would drop and a pair of shoes may be sufficient payment. I can't recall the name of the gentleman who wrote this (it was a book on withstanding persecution), but he said that in the past, 85% of all Christians who have been jailed were turned in by members of their own families or congregations.

    I appreciate this post as it has encouraged me to further examine my I have a foot in Babylon, a heel, or even a toe? Do I have a price for my integrity?

  2. Thanks for the post. And thanks for the great comment too.

    I like the asking that goes on at the end of the comment. Where do I stand? Is it even a toe? Where is the line where I think money does more for me than holiness? Even a toe is too much!

    Hopefully, we answer like Adam in that we do not sell holiness for money or Babylon, but we keep it holy.

  3. Warden, I like the link to Adam and sacred things. Sometimes we call "sell" things without even going through a financial transaction. Our pursuit of the world at the expense of the holy to me is also a "sale" because we are trading one thing for another.

    By the way, the gentleman's name who wrote the book referenced above was Richard Wurmbrand, a hero in every sense.

  4. Jennifer, you are right. We can sell out for anything that is Babylon. People choose that which they really believe in, what they think is most important for them. Keeping holy things first keeps us on the right path.

  5. One of Christ's own names is "the Truth". So I figure that in any situation in which we are dishonest in order to get gain, recognition, etc. that the are selling The Truth for whatever we lied to obtain. Whether cheating on a test, or going through with a dishonest business transaction, would you put a price tag on the Truth? On your own integrity? On the Savior?

  6. Wonderful dialog - thank you all very much. Mike's comments remind me of the beautiful book by Charles Sheldon, In His Steps, about a congregation that decided to really do what Jesus would do - in every aspect of their life. As Job says; "Till I die, I will not remove mine integrity from me." (I hope I quoted that correctly!)