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Selling The Poor For A Pair of Shoes PDF Print E-mail
Written by W.M. Mitchell   
The Gospel Messenger--March 1884

Bro. T. R. D. Williams, of Cleburne county, Ala., wrote us some time in April, 1883, for a comment on the prophesy of Amos 2:6: "They sold the righteous for silver and the poor for a pair of shoes.”

It will be seen that this is one of the four transgressions of Israel for which the Lord will not turn away the punishment thereof. Of all the sins of which either national or gospel Israel have been guilty, there is none worse than dissimulation and corruption in their service to God. Nor is there anything in which men become more hardened in sin than they do when they begin to depart from the living God in the simplicity and constancy of his worship. They become self-willed, proud, haughty, and often very covetous and worldly-minded. Soon they become hardened against the kind rebukes and loving entreaties and admonitions of their brethren. The love of money and lust of the world has gotten hold upon them. They covet after gain to such an extent that soon they will not scruple to make even their innocent, upright and righteous brethren an article of merchandise. ‘They sell the righteous for silver.” Anything that will advance their own worldly interest will be done, even though it might be the financial ruin of righteous and innocent brethren. When the covetous love of money has gotten deep hold on brethren it controls their action to a great extent in both Church and State. They will sacrifice honor, love, truth, justice and fellowship in the church, rather than deny themselves the opportunity for obtaining ill-gotten gains. They sacrifice peace, unity and fellowship in the church, and frequently bring shame, remorse and disgrace on themselves and their families. “They sell the poor for a pair of shoes.” This shows how hardened the love of money makes one. Surely it is the root of all practical evil. From it spring forth falsehood, oppression of the poor, and violence against the needy, harshness, injustice, pride, theft, robbery and murder. It condescends to little mean things, and will bring poor, humble and honest men into the worst kind of distress and cruel bondage of debt, either to them or to others to advance their own carnal interest. To sell the poor for a pair of shoes is to make merchandise of them. It shows how brethren may get so ensnared with the love of the world that they will part with the fellowship of the poor in spirit for a very small matter—a “pair of shoes” or something, perhaps, of less value. By noticing the same prophesy, Amos viii., 6, it will be seen that while there were some in Israel that would sell the “righteous for silver and the poor for a pair of shoes,” there were also some who were ready to buy them in that way. And so it happens sometimes in a church where two or three members have become covetous and “greedy of filthy lucre,” there are others ready to encourage and uphold them in it. These are transgressions for which the Lord will punish his people.—M.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 17 September 2008 )
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The Primitive or Old School Baptists cling to the doctrines and practices held by Baptist Churches throughout America at the close of the Revolutionary War. This site is dedicated to providing access to our rich heritage, with both historic and contemporary writings.