This week’s Torah Portion is called Parashat Ki Teitzei. The reading is Deuteronomy 21:10-25:19. Here is a brief commentary by Baruch:
We are called to live in a way that manifests our relationship with G-d to others. Sadly many believers forget this when conducting business. I have found some wanting to use the concept of grace as a means for not meeting their obligations. Such a tendency is strongly condemned in this week’s Torah portion.
“You shall not cheat a poor and needy hired worker from among your brothers or one who dwells within your land or within your gates. On that day you give to him his wages, the sun should not set upon him, for he is poor, his life depends; he should not have to call to HaShem concerning you, for this shall be a sin for you.” Deut. 24:14-15
The way one conducts business says a great deal about one’s true spiritual condition. If one cannot be trusted to handle properly the things of this world in a manner that brings glory to G-d and testifies to one’s faith in Yeshua, then why would G-d entrust to this person the things connected to the Kingdom of G-d?
In this passage it specifies the poor and the extremely needy individual. Why? Because, those who are in great need are the very ones of which it is easiest to take advantage. Once I saw a person who was certainly above middle class dealing with someone who had done some lawn work for him. Although it was clear that he had agreed to pay the individual at the end of the day this man said he did not have the agreed upon amount. He knew this man had traveled more than an hour to work. He told him he could pay him less right now but if he wanted to receive the full amount he would have to come back the following week. Because the man needed the money very badly he agreed to take the lesser payment. I learned that it was not because he truly lacked the money to pay, he saw the plight of the man and exploited his need for money immediately to his financial advantage. As our text says—this is sin!
And important thing to remember is what the prophet Haggai says about gains through unrighteousness means. HaShem will take them away. How you ask? Perhaps through a sickness that causes you to pay the doctor money you were not expecting to have to pay or through an unexpected car repair. Believe me G-d has no trouble collecting ill gotten gains. Beware He often takes interest with them.
Why not pray this Shabbat on how to reflect the business practices that Messiah would practice and place your focus on the treasure in heaven.