He is a merchant, the balances of deceit are in his hand: he loves to oppress.…
I. FORTUNES BADLY USED.
1. Here there is no recognition of human co-operation. No man comes in possession of wealth without the efforts of some men either living or dead. Wealth, in most cases, is the result of the efforts of a large number of human workers But the possessor oftentimes takes no note of this. He thinks only of himself.
2. Here there is no recognition of Divine agency. All fortunes come of God. Out of His materials, out of His seasons, out of the activity of His creatures. Many fortunes are held and employed in a spirit of haughty egotism.
II. FORTUNES BADLY MADE.
1. Here is fraud. There is deceit everywhere. In all fabrics, groceries, trade commodities. Deceit in making, deceit both in the buying and the selling.
2. Here is oppression. Fraud is oppression, in some form or other.
3. Here is cunning. Ephraim — this typical fortune-maker — took such care to conceal all that was unfair and nefarious in his operations that he was certain no wrong could be found in his doings. Many who have made a fortune by a swindle have so guarded the transaction that they have clapped their hands and said, "None will ever find it out."
III. FORTUNES BADLY ENDED. To all such fortune-holders and fortune-makers retribution must come sooner or later.
Parallel VersesKJV: He is a merchant, the balances of deceit are in his hand: he loveth to oppress.