He that withholdeth corn, the people shall curse him: but blessing shall be upon the head of him that selleth it.
Cursing or blessing? What a huge difference! And all from selling corn! Learn God’s wisdom here: holding back corn from the market to unjustly raise prices is wrong. You can either curse or bless your life and family by your business and financial practices. It does not matter what you think is right or profitable – it matters what God thinks.
In American capitalism, it is common, even for Christians, to assume the terms of any “arm’s length transaction” are morally acceptable. For example, if you have a business advantage in a product or service, you should charge any price you wish. If anyone does not like your price, they can forego the item or buy it elsewhere. Is this thinking right?
In fact, is it not just good business to charge as much as you can and make as much as you can? After all, businessmen are simply using the free market economy to earn profits, right? It is said, the rising profits will bring more competition into that market, improve service, and lower prices. But is it right in God’s sight to charge as much as you can?
In the early 1980’s, a Texas billionaire almost cornered the silver market. By buying futures contracts on the world’s silver supplies, he drove silver from under $5 an ounce to more than $50. If the commodity exchanges had not changed rules to stop him, he would have achieved his goal. He could have slowly sold his contracts with enormous profits. He could have made upwards of 150 times (15,000 %) the amount of his investment.
Is this right? Does God approve of this thinking? Was it not just a great deal by a bold man? Was it not just creative investing with much capital in order to make a large profit? Do we have to make sure the price we charge others or what we pay is fair and right? Yes! Even if you are buying, God said to pay a fair price without bargaining (Pr 20:14).
God rejects making gains at the expense of others. It is wrong to corner a market in a commodity for profit. Read the proverb and learn God and Solomon’s righteous truth and wisdom for businessmen. A farmer with an advantage in corn must sell it for reasonable and moderate prices. To hold it for higher prices, when the poor depend on it, is wrong.
The greedy silver speculator in Dallas forgot the small jewelry maker in Des Moines, who had to pay ten times as much for his raw silver. The oil tycoon planning to control the silver market forgot the jeweler’s children’s needs. But the Lord did not forget him. It is wisdom to know that God has an opinion regarding your business choices and to adjust accordingly. You will never win financially against God, as the silver speculator learned.
Gain at the expense of others is wrong (Pr 1:19), especially the poor (Pr 14:21,31), and especially in necessary items (Pr 22:27), for they depend on cheap commodities in order to survive (Pr 27:27). Fools that ignore the cries of the poor shall lose their riches to merciful men (Pr 28:8; 17:5; 19:17; 21:13; 22:9,16,22-23; 28:27; 29:7,14). Oppressors may hoard silver like dust, but good men will end up owning their silver (Job 27:16-17).
You will never lose being generous, merciful, and kind (Pr 11:24-25; Eccl 11:1-6), for those who give to the poor are lending to the Lord, and He always repays well (Pr 19:17). Though you may think you are hurting yourself by generosity, you are helping yourself.
What about the Lord Jesus Christ? He had a legitimate corner on riches and glory as the Word of God, but He gave it up to become poor in this world for His elect children, so they might receive the gift of eternal life and riches in glory (Phil 2:5-8; II Cor 8:9).