What sorrow awaits you who lie awake at night,
thinking up evil plans.
You rise at dawn and hurry to carry them out,
simply because you have the power to do so.
When you want a piece of land, you find a way to seize it.
When you want someone’s house, you take it by fraud and violence.
You cheat a man of his property, stealing his family’s inheritance. (NLT)
The corruption of power is no recent invention. Back in Old Testament times, those who had the power could and did use it abusively. Our text describes those who plot and plan to advance their own interests irrespective of others’ interests. Those who do wrong because not only are their hearts corrupt, but their power enables them to do so.
Those with power can so easily carry out injustice because they twist and bend and even ignore any rules preventing them doing so. Their power gives them a sense of entitlement. If I want something I will get it. If I make plans I will be sure to carry them out.
This side of heaven it will always be so. The essential egocentricity of human beings ensures that at least some of those with earthly power will misuse it. Instead of such power being put in the service of others for their good, it is used to advance the interests of those who have the power.
It will not always be so. There can be some judgement on such people in our present age, though so often they get away with what they conspire to do. But their power is not absolute and will come to an end. All that power accumulated here and now will be no use when it comes to eternal destiny. A greater power decides that.