28: Responding to workplace corruption (Hosea 4:1–3)

Scripture Reading: Hosea 4:1–3

God puts the blame for Israel’s corruption on the people as a whole. To dramatize the situation, God commands the prophet Hosea to “take for yourself a wife of whoredom and have children of whoredom, for the land commits great whoredom by forsaking the Lord” (Hosea 1:2). Hosea obeys God’s command.

Although the prophets use the imagery of prostitution and adultery, God is accusing Israel of economic and social corruption, not sexual immorality. This makes Hosea’s family situation a dramatic example for those who work in corrupt or imperfect workplaces today. God deliberately put Hosea in a corrupt and difficult family situation. Could it be that God deliberately puts people in corrupt and difficult workplaces today?

While we may seek a comfortable job with a reputable employer in a respectable profession, perhaps we can accomplish far more for God’s kingdom by working in morally compromised places. If you abhor corruption, can you do more to fight it by working as a lawyer in a prestigious firm or as a building inspector in a mafia-dominated city? There are no easy answers, but God’s call to Hosea suggests that making a difference in the world is more important to God than keeping our hands clean. As Dietrich Bonhoeffer put it in the midst of Nazi control of Germany, “The ultimate question for a responsible man to ask, is not how to extricate himself heroically from the affair, but how the coming generation is to live.”

Prayer: God, show me how I can make a positive difference at work and in the world. Amen.

For Further Exploration: Read God Demands Change (Hosea 1:1-9, Micah 2:1-5) from the Theology of Work Bible Commentary.

Author: Theology of Work Project

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