The Heart of the Pork Barrel
The recent pork barrel scam in the Philippines has shown us how money and power can corrupt people. It is interesting, astonishing and at the same time disheartening to hear one of our senator give his privilege speech and share how corrupt he and his colleagues are. The speech that was meant to clear his name – actually worked the other way around. That is what I call God confusing the mind of the people who choose to sin against him and are callous to their own sins.
Reading through Nehemiah 5, I made a prayer for our dear senators and congressmen. During Nehemiah’s time, there was sort of a pork barrel to help elevate the poor of the land and to help develop the city.
14 Moreover, from the time that I was appointed to be their governor in the land of Judah, from the twentieth year to the thirty-second year of Artaxerxes the king, twelve years, neither I nor my brothers ate the food allowance of the governor. 15 The former governors who were before me laid heavy burdens on the people and took from them for their daily ration forty shekels of silver. Even their servants lorded it over the people. But I did not do so, because of the fear of God. 16 I also persevered in the work on this wall, and we acquired no land, and all my servants were gathered there for the work. 17 Moreover, there were at my table 150 men, Jews and officials, besides those who came to us from the nations that were around us.18 Now what was prepared at my expense for each day was one ox and six choice sheep and birds, and every ten days all kinds of wine in abundance. Yet for all this I did not demand the food allowance of the governor, because the service was too heavy on this people.19 Remember for my good, O my God, all that I have done for this people.
Nehemiah understood that the budget set for them came from the money of the people who were also struggling financially. Instead of using the money of the people for his enjoyment, he used it to serve the people more and do work that was required. In short, the pork barrel in the hands of righteous men will be able to fulfill the work required but in the hands of wicked men, it will be used for their own gain. At the end of the day, they will be judged by
It was the great Abraham Lincoln said that the way for us to know the character of a person is to give him power. I pray that when time comes that we as a nation are given the blessings of God and become a economic powerhouse in Asia, we will be ready to handle the wealth given to us. That today we will decide that our main goal in life is not to acquire more wealth and power but to live our lives glorifying God because that is what makes us RICH.
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