“American Greed” is a TV series that focuses on corporate and white-collar crimes. Sometimes it features stories of people who use religion as a pretext to defraud people—even duping Christians. It alerts us that not everyone who uses God-talk necessarily possesses God’s Spirit. It also reminds us that those who handle other people’s money must be transparent and honest. Ezra, in ancient Israel, was very careful to do this. We read in Ezra Chapter 8 that he appointed 12 leaders to be in charge of transporting the silver, the gold, the gold bowls, and the other items that the king, his council, his officials, and other people gave for the Temple. Ezra said, “I weighed the treasure as I gave it to them. And I said to the priests, ‘You and these treasures have been set apart as holy to the LORD. This silver and gold is a voluntary offering to the LORD, the God of our ancestors. Guard these treasures well until you present them to the leading priests, the Levites, and the leaders of Israel, who will weigh them at the storerooms of the LORD’s Temple in Jerusalem.’” Ezra was transparent and honest in handling donated resources. Today, God, as well as those who give, delights to see leaders handle donated resources in the same transparent way.
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