Week beginning: 13th July, 2014
By Andrew Myers | St Albans
"Do not take advantage of a hired worker who is poor and needy, whether that worker is a fellow Israelite or a foreigner residing in one of your towns. Pay them their wages each day before sunset, because they are poor and are counting on it. Otherwise they may cry to the LORD against you, and you will be guilty of sin."
"Look! The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty."Deuteronomy 24:14-15, (NIV) James 5:4 (NIV)
Thousands of years before the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998, God told his people that they were to pay for the services they received promptly. Indeed, the Deuteronomy passage required a Same Day Payments transfer. God commanded his people not to take advantage of those working for them with weak bargaining positions, and to pay them timeously. God is just and He wants His people to be like Him by acting justly too. His ear is attuned to the cries of those who are unjustly treated.
It is in this light that we should consider the unequal bargaining positions that exist in today's economy. Between large and small companies, between established concerns and start-ups and even, dare I say it, between solicitors and junior counsel.
This passage is a call to us to be prompt payers ourselves. But it also challenges us to use our influence for good when those with commercial muscle try to play the law to deprive others of being paid for their work.
1) Lord help us act justly and fairly in all our business dealings and to encourage our clients to do the same.
2) Give thanks and praise that whilst our sinfulness leaves us with no bargaining position before God, in His grace and mercy He offers us freedom and forgiveness through the costly sacrifice of His own son, Jesus.