In my part of the world, maybe yours too, there has been one couple buying up all the Lyslol cleaning wipes from the stores and reselling them at exaggerated costs, taking advantage of people’s fear and need during this Covid-19 pandemic.
This is called racketeering. It is a gross offence of blatant disregard for any other but themselves. Such folks will now carry much disdain among the community. To put it lightly.
It is this exact kind of behaviour that had Jesus turning over the tables in the temple with rage. Matthew 21:12-13, Mark 11:15-18
You see, for the Passover each year folks came from far away to the temple in Jerusalem. It was a long, hard, journey for many.
Because of the difficulty, (heat and endless walking), the folks would not bring with them the dove or the lamb or the goat for their sacrifice at the temple.
Rather, they would wait until they arrived to purchase what they needed for their sacrifice back to the Lord.
But the religious leaders acted exactly like the couple buying up and then selling all the cleaning wipes.
They were taking advantage of the need of the people unto their own benefit.
Instead of selling a dove for the actual reasonable normal amount they would sell the dove for much more. Taking advantage of the people’ needs to turn a vast profit.
Thus, Jesus, in a rage turned over the money changers tables.
You see, God is serious about justice and integrity.
It is also why Jesus was so hard on the pharisees, calling them whitewashed tombs, looking all great on the outside but full of dead mens bones.
It is also why there is stern injunction against selling prayers or miracles or anything that is freely given of the Lord.
Exchanging money for healing, or for spiritual strength, or for a sense of rightness with God, is sacrilege.
Such behaviour demotes God to a transaction. And it takes advantage of folks in their spiritual need to feel right with God, to feel heard, to know that God is with them.
I could go on.
For those of you in Christian ministry. You must stop taking advantage of folks need to know God by creating some transaction, by which you skim the cream off the top.
For those of you who reject the notion of God based on such behaviour. First, you are smart to recognize this as evil. Second, know that God never condones such behaviour. Ever.
Jesus, in rage, revealed the heart of God against spiritual thieves and religious manipulators. His words tell us more,
“What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you pharisees. Hypocrites! For you shut the door of the Kingdom of Heaven in people’s faces. You won’t got in yourself and you don’t let other enter either. …
What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you pharisees. Hypocrites! For you cross land and sea to make one convert, and then you turn that person into twice the child of hell you yourselves are! …
What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from our herb gardens, but you ignore the more important aspects of the law–justice, mercy, and faith. …
What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy–full of greed and self indulgence! …
What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs–beautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead people bones and all sorts of impurity.” Matthew 23
The anger and wrath you feel against the couple price gouging on cleaning wipes, those taking advantage of folks needs and fears to make a profit.
That is the same anger of God against religious leaders who would profit from the spiritual needs of the people.