Thought: God Cannot Be Bought

By Rev. Leo H. McCrary II – November 28, 2021
Responsive Reading – Romans 2:1-16
Key Verse – Deuteronomy 10:17


God cannot be bought – Do you truly believe that God, His love, and His blessings can be bought at a price?  I ask this question because we live in a world where everything seemingly has a price: the food we eat; the water we drink; even our bodies and the love we can share has a price.  Even our judgment, the way we determine whether something is right or wrong, can be bought through persuasion and propaganda!  Honestly, I truly believe the way that we will willingly give away precious things, like our love and our judgment on things, for a price is truly sad. 

I want to share with you today that there are several people who approach the Lord with the same logic that He, His love, and His blessings has a price.  Some of these are supposedly believers but they will live their life in any manner that is not righteous.  They live with the idea that all it takes to earn God’s love and blessings are tithes, offerings, and ‘prayers’.  

Then there are those who have more faith in their riches than they will ever have in God.  They believe that their wealth, riches, and possessions are going to save them and/or work with the Lord.  Some believe that they are something special because of their stature in the world and their stature will help them to bargain with the Lord.

So, here’s our question for today:  Does the Lord have a price?  Does His love, mercy, and blessings have a price?

God is Not Like Others

In the first epistle of John, the apostle says of the Lord that He, God, is both faithful and just to forgive those that confess their sins to Him (1 John 1:9).  So, to say that the Lord is just, John was letting his readers know that the Lord is fair and righteous; God will do what is right.  Now, let us note that what is right is determined by the Lord and nobody else.  The Lord’s say to what is right and what is wrong is absolute – it is final.

The God of gods

In my key verse for today’s message, we will see Moses speaking of the Lord, and the first thing he tells us about God is that He is the God of gods and Lord of lords.

17 For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality nor takes a bribe.


Moses makes this statement at a time near the end of his life where he was teaching the children of Israel some final lessons.  Moses was recounting when he gave the children of Israel the second pair of tablets (Deut. 10:1-10).  The first pair of tablets were destroyed at Mount Sinai after the children of Israel had danced and worshiped the calf of gold (Ex. 32:19).  This great sin of idolatry occurred only days after the children of Israel had made a covenant with the Lord to be faithful to Him and keep His law (Ex. 19:3-8).

The worshiping of idol gods was something that was very prevalent in those days and we could say the same still holds true in our world today; many people still worship idols.  Now, in both Old Testament and New Testament times, the idol worshipers believed they needed to perform certain rituals in order to earn or to persuade their gods to show them favor.

We can see in scripture or even through the study of ancient civilizations, that idol worshipers would offer up such things as fine jewelry and gold to their golds.  They would perform certain rituals that would include cutting and scaring themselves, offering up blood, and some would even offer up human sacrifices (Lev. 19:1, 27-28; 1 Kgs. 18:25-29).  When Paul wrote about how men and women worshipers should worship the Lord, he spoke of how idol worshipers would adorn themselves in special clothing, wear special jewelry, and even do things to their hair with the idea that doing these things could help them in obtaining the favor and love of their god(s) (1 Tim. 2:8-9).

Through both Moses and Paul, we see two men who suggest that God is not like the idol gods; He does not need anybody to bargain for His love and favor.  Let us remember that Moses grew up in an Egyptian household, so when he says that God is the god of Gods, he meant it!  Moses saw the worship of idol gods and how people bargained for the favor and blessings of their idol gods.  Moses saw and learned in his lifetime that those idols were not God at all.  You see, he learned that the one true God never required him to offer up gold or anything else in order to be blessed and highly favored in God’s eyes.  

In scripture, the Lord commanded Moses and the Israelites not to be as gentile worshipers in those days.  God commanded them not to cut themselves (spill blood) or tattoo (scar) themselves to earn His favor.  Jesus never told us to do anything like offer up gold in order to be favored in His eyes.  No, Jesus told us to simply worship the Lord in spirit and in truth.  All who worship the Lord in this manner, in spirit and in truth, will be blessed (John 3:16; 4:23-24).

An Impartial God

Now, the second thing that Moses tells us in my key verse about the Lord is that He shows no partiality.  In the King James Version, this scripture is translated to say that the Lord regardeth not persons.  So, someone may wonder, what does it mean that God is not partial nor does he not regard persons?  It is very significant that the Lord shows no partiality.

Partiality in our world

Let us consider what partiality looks like in our world today and what it leads to.  To be partial is to be inclined to favor one party more than the other; to be biased.  Now, to be biased is to show an unfair tendency to believe that some people and ideas are better than others.  So, one who is partial often leans one way or the other in their judgment of things based on their bias.

Now, many of us are well aware that bias and partiality exists in our society, whether others will admit it or not.  In most cases, biased opinions never seem to work out for the better.  For example, depending on your race or sex in our society, a certain bias has kept many good people fit for a job out of a job because they had to jump through unfair hoops with no shot of successfully making the jump.  As the saying goes, when it comes to landing a job, especially in your career field, sometimes it does not depend on what you know but who you know.

Even when it comes to policing and justice in our society, a certain partiality seems to favor some while absolutely destroying others.  We saw this with Tamir Rice when he was gunned down a few years ago while playing with a toy gun.  Trayvon Martin was killed because of the bias against young black men and how they dress.  Whereas, someone like Dylan Roof could shoot up several parishioners in a church, and afterwards, be taken out to get burgers by cops.

In the courts, we have seen bias play a big role when it comes to final verdicts.  Some people, because of the favoritism shown to them in bias, can walk in the courtroom knowing that they will get off on charges because of who they are or what they look like.  At the same time, others, while being innocent, have served decades in prison because of the bias held against them solely because of what they look like. So, partiality, in and of itself, cannot be just nor can it be faithful; the believer is warned against partiality (Jas. 2:9).  So, for the Lord to be a faithful and just God, He must be an impartial (unbiased) God.

God’s righteous judgment

Thankfully, as Moses stated, and scripture repeats to us time and time again, God is an impartial God.

In his letter to the Romans, Paul repeated this thought when he wrote that there is no partiality with God (Rom. 2:11).  In Romans 2:1-16, Paul wrote to the Romans about God’s righteousness in judgment.  

In the first couple of verses, we will see Paul write, “O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.  But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things (Rom. 2:1-2).”  

Again, our judgment of things often comes down to our bias.  God’s judgment is different from man’s judgment for quite a few reasons.  The simple reason as to why God’s judgment is different from ours is because He is God and not man – He is not like us.  He is not going to judge based on a societal bias that may favor or not favor us because of who we are or what we look like.

Now, when we take a deeper dive into the reasoning, we will understand that God’s judgment is righteous because He is without sin.  What this means in comparison to us is that the Lord is perfect and we are not.  So, God’s judgment is righteous because He is the sovereign ruler over all things.  The Lord has determined and informed us as to what is right and what is wrong.  Therefore, God is able to judge right and wrong from this place of righteousness whereas we, mankind, are unable to judge from such a place and with such authority.  There will be no favoritism at play with the Lord.

No favoritism from God

In the gospels, we see Jesus warn the disciples not to judge (Matt. 7:1).  Jesus’ thoughts on how we would judge one another boils down to how we think of our own sins and what we do about them.  Jesus told the disciples that before we can judge someone else, we must first remove the plank from our own eye.  Jesus was speaking figuratively when He said that, but to be plain, He was saying that if we are going to judge others of their sins, we better do something about our own sins!  

You see, people have a habit of believing themselves to be perfect when they are absolutely not perfectSo, when it comes to man’s judgment, our judgment can be hypocritical due to partiality and bias – favoritism.  

James warns us about showing favoritism in that he writes when we show partiality, we commit sin (Jas. 2:1-9).  As shown in James 2, partiality, bias, and favoritism can, and has been, a plague in our world.   It has plagued how we go about treating those who are around us.  We treat those who are perceived to be of good and decent wealth with all due respect.  Yet, those who we perceive to be less fortunate than we are, we treat them like the ground we walk on.

The Israelites and Jews had a habit of thinking very highly of themselves as being God’s chosen people and believed God would show favoritism to them because of this.  I believe that Moses wanted the children of Israel to understand that God does not show favoritism but will judge accordingly of every man, woman, boy, or girl.  As scripture states, every knee will bow before the Lord and every tongue shall confess to God (Is. 45:23; Rom. 14:11; Rev. 5:13).

No respecter of persons

So, all people should be wary (fearful) of how we choose to live our life.  As I stated in a sermon a few months ago, some of us live our lives fearful of the Lord’s righteous judgment while others have absolutely no fear.

Many live with a misguided mindset that they are fine in God’s eyes because they have gotten by in our society because of who they are.  While your stature may mean something in this society among mankind, it means nothing to the Lord.  Yes, many define themselves by their wealth and their stature in the world but the Lord is beyond and looks beyond the worldly mindset..

In the book of Isaiah, the Lord said, “I have made the earth, and created man on it.  I—My hands—stretched out the heavens, and all their host I have commanded (Is. 45:12).”  Then, in the book of Daniel, Daniel talks about how the Lord changes the times and the seasons; how the Lord removes kings and raises up kings.  Daniel said that God gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding (Dan. 2:21).  Again, God is the one that gives His good and perfect gifts to us (Jas. 1:17).

So, what in the world would God need with anyone’s riches or perceived stature when He is the one that has given it?  The Lord is not going to show favoritism, He is not going to be bias to you because of your perceived wealth; He is no respecter of persons!  On the flip side, do not ever think that the Lord does not favor you because the world has told you that you are broke and poor.  God is not concerned with these thoughts! 

Bargaining with God

Again, as we see Moses state in our key verse for today, the Lord cannot be bribed – God cannot be bought!  The Lord, I want you to understand, cannot be persuaded by your wealth or by your stature.  God, again, is faithful and just!  The Lord will not judge you for what you have gained in this world or what you look like.  No, God looks beyond these things and He looks at our heart (the soul) to determine whether we are good or wicked (1 Sam. 16:7; Jer. 17:10).

What scripture makes clear to us is that the Lord’s courtroom does not work like ours.  In the gospels, Jesus makes it clear that we will be judged by whether or not we have loved the Lord with all of our heart, mind, and soul.  Jesus, again, makes it clear that we will be judged by whether or not we acted in the Lord’s love by loving our neighbors as we have loved ourselves (Matt. 22:37-40; Luke 10:25-37).  The Lord will favor those that have loved Him (Ps. 147:11; Rom. 8:28)!

Out of favor with God are those that do not love Him.  To the Romans, Paul wrote,  “For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law (for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified) (Rom. 2:12-13).”  You cannot but the Lord, His love, and His favor with riches!  Nor can you buy the Lord’s salvation!

Let us understand that God, again, is faithful and just to rightly uphold His judgment of what is right and what is wrong.  The Lord is faithful and just to determine who He loves, who He blesses, and who He will forgive.  God is faithful and just to deliver unto eternal life all of those that loved Him.

Let me tell you, I am thankful that the Lord is a faith and just God.  I am truly thankful that the Lord is not going to hold a bias against me because of worldly prejudices.  Yes, I am thankful that the Lord is going to judge me by my heart and then love me according to what my heart says and not what someone says of me or thinks of me.  If you are of a mindset that you believe that the Lord and His gifts can be purchased, drop the mindset today because God cannot be bought.  The Lord will read you like a book because He knows you by your heart.

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