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Rumors persist that certain powerful leaders have stolen and stashed away billions of dollars for their own private use. Whether such thefts take place nationally or internationally, in churches, businesses, or governments, corporately or privately, the reality is that God hates such wicked practices. Long ago, God expressed his outrage for leaders who took advantage of others. We read in Ezekiel 34 where God lambasted the leaders of ancient Israel. He condemned them because they exploited people for their own selfish gain. God condemned them because, instead of taking care of the sheep, the people under their care, these leaders had exploited the sheep to pad their own pockets. We read in Ezekiel 34 that God did not excuse the lay people for their own individual violations of moral law. Rather, God promised to judge both. God expressed his utter disdain for those who oppress and mistreat others. He promised swift justice. For ancient Israel, the Babylonians invaded and destroyed their land. Then seventy years later, God used the Persians to punish the Babylonians for their wickedness. A principle is at work that applies to all of us in every generation. When a person or a group oppresses others, in time, someone takes advantage of the oppressor. God wants true leaders–leaders with integrity–in families, in churches, in businesses, and in governments.

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