Proverbs 17 “Bribes”

“A bribe is a charm to the one who gives it,
 wherever he turns, he succeeds.” Proverbs 17:9

Have you ever been bribed? Maybe you’ve done the bribing?

I bribe my kids all the time.

“Clean your room and we’ll play a game.”

“After your school work, we’ll have caramel apples.”

We have chore charts that allow them to earn $.25 a day when completed.

In all these bribes, I’m holding the charm, the reward, and I will succeed. I get a good deal at every turn. Toys get picked up in at least one room and I get to enjoy a fun 10 min playing a game with my kids. The caramel apple reward helps keep them on task, getting their lessons done in a timely manner. I don’t lose my sanity and we all get a treat. Chore charts teach responsibility while I get help with fixing beds and other daily duties. They earn money and I get the opportunity to teach them the value of it. I bribe. I gain. I’m happy.

While I try to be fair and intentional when I bribe, we have an enemy who only bribes for his gain.

We might not give in to the first bribe or temptation, but he returns when our resolve is not at its peak and we might oblige to him. One time can’t hurt, right? It felt good. It was fun. It thrilled me.

While the initial feeling may be satisfying, we can be sure, eventually it will bring ruin. We can be sure that Satan is benefiting most. He caught us in his trap. Now, he’s waiting for the perfect time to use our sin against us. Inevitably, the perfect time he chooses is in front of God.

“the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night.” Revelation 12:10

How perfectly rotten of him.

Praise the Lord, that ultimately Satan, the accuser will be overthrown and spend his eternity in complete agony.

But the fact is, right now he holds little bribes for us. He dangles them around like little charms. Like pretty, sparkling, glittering ornaments. We get to chose whether or not to take one. We have the option whether or not to reach out and take one. Be wise! Think! Recognize the temptations, the charms, for what they are. Do not settle for a little glittering charm when there’s a much greater treasure to be had.

Look beyond. Look higher. Look to the greater things of God. “Go for the gold!” The gold He has in store for you! And, friend, it’s real gold! Streets and streets and streets of it!

Pray with me.

Lord, when we are tempted, help us recognize the bribe for what it is. Thank you for Your Holy Spirit to nudge us and remind us and make us aware of what is not from You. Let us not grow callus to Your gentle reminders that guide our hearts in the way of truth and righteousness. Thank you for Your gift of life. May we never grow weary of doing good, giving the enemy nothing to accuse us of. Amen.