"[T]hese men lie in wait for their own blood; they set an ambush for their own lives. Such are the ways of everyone who is greedy for unjust gain; it takes away the life of its possessors."
On the face of it, these verses refer to robbers, that is, those who take the property of others by force. But what if you consider government redistribution of wealth as legalized theft? This verse then puts so many of our social ills together in a way too many have refused to acknowledge.
There are legitimate means of gaining the property of another person, of course: purchase, gift, inheritance, in exchange for labor, or through due process of law in a lawsuit. Anything else constitutes force or fraud. Force through an intermediary, even government, is still force. And it carries the same spiritual consequences warned of in this Proverb.
Consider what has become of the American family, especially the minority family. Illegitimacy, welfare dependency, and fatherless homes. The list is well-known. And easily predictable. We have become a society of entitlement, expecting the government to confiscate the property of others, in order to redistribute to those who haven't produced it. We might call it "welfare," but whitewashing can't cover up theft; it merely excuses it.
The Apostle Paul also gives the same instruction. Ephesians 4:28 is explicit: "Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need." And to the Thessalonians (II Th. 3:10-11) he was even more blunt: "If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies." Honest labor builds up; illegitimate wealth destroys.
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