“Judgment falls in ways that are appropriate to the evils that provoke it. Our policies of greed have brought an end to the increase of wealth to which we have become accustomed, and we have begun to destroy the capital resources that have taken three centuries to build. In so doing, we have spurned the biblical principle that we are stewards of the material goods entrusted to us and not their masters. The ancient kingdoms of Israel and Judah committed similar deeds, and the prophetic voices raised at that time warned that their crimes would call forth judgment that would shatter their economic well being.
"Their goods shall be plundered,
and their houses laid waste.
Though they build houses,
they shall not inhabit them;
though they plant vineyards,
they shall not drink wine from them."
(Zephaniah 1:13 ESV)
You have sown much, and harvested little. You eat, but you never have enough; you drink, but you never have your fill. You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm. And he who earns wages does so to put them into a bag with holes.
(Haggai 1:6 ESV)
Shall I acquit the man with wicked scales
and with a bag of deceitful weights?
Your rich men are full of violence;
your inhabitants speak lies,
and their tongue is deceitful in their mouth.
Therefore I strike you with a grievous blow,
making you desolate because of your sins.
You shall eat, but not be satisfied,
and there shall be hunger within you;
you shall put away, but not preserve,
and what you preserve I will give to the sword.
You shall sow, but not reap;
you shall tread olives, but not anoint yourselves with oil;
you shall tread grapes, but not drink wine.
(Micah 6:11-15 ESV)
(Herbert Schlossberg, Idols for Destruction, p. 138)
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