By justice a king gives a country stability, but one who is greedy for bribes tears it down. Proverbs 29:4
It’s not an accident that we see leaders in the news who want to make a little extra cash on the side, Governor Rod Blagojevich of Illinois comes to mind. Unfortunately, he’s not alone; he’s the one who got caught and it happened to be associated with the current President of the United States’ former Senate seat. You can see how it happens: millions of dollars in Federal, State, and local budgets. Why shouldn’t someone who makes a mere $150K per year want to take a little more on the side? No one gets hurt and the per capita “contribution” is mere dollars. But the Bible says it’s wrong and it tears down a country.
“Extreme,” you say? Consider this. What is it about America that keeps people coming every year? Before you answer, let me ask another question. If you’re on trial for a crime you did not commit in a South American country, for example, what is the likelihood that you will go free after your trial? You don’t know who has formally accused you. You don’t know what kind of money has changed hands to see that you’re incarcerated, and you don’t know if the judge is honest or corrupt. Of course I’m making a large generalization about an entire continent but due process is one of the hallmarks of people coming to the United States: you’re innocent until proven guilty.
But, as Scriptures tell us, that can change quickly. As people become more and more greedy, their quest for justice fades quickly. The verdict of a fair trial is up to the highest bidder. We see it in the U.S. and cringe at the consequences. Fortunately, it’s the exception and not the norm.
So, pray for those in authority by name. Pray for them regularly that they would be fair and impartial, and that they would not become greedy.