Text: “Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter” – Isa 56:11.
Comment: This text brings to the fore the greed of false religious leaders who amass wealth for themselves by exploiting the simplicity or goodwill of their adherents. In the world today, some false prophets/pastors make merchandise of the people through multiple and varied offerings, “sowing seed” by depositing huge sums of money with the pastor hoping to get a “miracle” or “breakthrough” in their lives; sale of items in church houses such as handkerchiefs, candles, olive oil etc. are done at outrageous prices. St Peter said that such false religious leaders will not escape the punishment of God. “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies…and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth is evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you” . – 2 Peter 2:1-3.
The true servants of God however are dedicated to preaching the gospel to the people. St. Paul, in a farewell address to the elders of the Church at Ephesus said he had not kept back anything that was profitable unto them in that he had taught them publicly and from house to house. He added, “I have coveted no man’s silver, or gold, or apparel. Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me…” Acts 20:33-35.