Luke 10:7 And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the labourer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house.
Today, Monday, September 2, 2019 is Labor Day in the United States of America. The Bible has much to say about labor and economic issues and policy. Over many years of discussion, I have learned much from my brother Mark (Martin Smith). He has pointed out to me many significant passages in the Bible that are about the subject of justice and related issues. He helped me focus more attention than I might otherwise have given to these passages as I created The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible, and their recent expansion, The Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury.
Just now, Mark is in Harper Hospital in Detroit, awaiting serious surgery tomorrow, Tuesday, September 3, 2019, for a tumor that has wrapped around a major artery to the right brain region. Mark has been fighting the effects of prostate cancer for many years. It is thought that his current emergency is related. I am thankful to my former student from Cass Technical High School and Bible Discussion Club member, Mr. Gregory Scruggs, and his fellow elder, Mr. Dairun Hoskins, from the Christian Fellowship Church, for their very special and practical help they have been to my brother Mark at this time. Mark has taught Sunday school at the Christian Fellowship Church for many years. I am thankful for the deep prayer interest the members of Christian Fellowship Church have shown in behalf of my brother.
The Bible has much to say about labor and laborers. The laborer has a right to sell his labor for a fair and agreed upon price. This is reflected in Genesis 29:15, where Laban gives Jacob the opportunity to name his price. Later, in the law of Moses, it is forbidden to oppress a laborer (Deuteronomy 24:14).
The Bible commands the payment of a living wage. It demands that wages be paid on time (Deuteronomy 24:15). It demands that laborers be given due process. It requires that laborers must be granted the weekly day of rest. All these things can be observed as they are reflected in the cross references I share below for Luke 10:7 from The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge and its much expanded sequel, The Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury.
The Bible tells us, “In all labor there is profit, but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury” (Proverbs 14:23).
From this statement in Proverbs 14:23 and many other things mentioned in the Bible, the right to private property, the right to profit from one’s labor, and the principles of free-market capitalism but not socialism are taught in the Bible. Mr. David Barton of Wallbuilders has presented many videos on YouTube demonstrating that our Founding Fathers knew their Bibles well, and based our founding documents directly upon the Bible. Even the allegedly least-religious Founding Fathers, such as Benjamin Franklin, demonstrate by what they said and wrote a knowledge of the Bible that very likely surpasses the Bible knowledge possessed by most Christian pastors today. Benjamin Franklin’s longest speech at the Constitutional Convention wherein he plead for those gathered there to once again return to the practice of having a session of prayer before beginning that day’s deliberations, though only fourteen sentences long, alluded to fourteen or more distinct passages from the Bible!
God pronounces woe against those who would build their own household wealth by not paying for the labor they employed in the process in Jeremiah 22:13,
13 Woe unto him that buildeth his house by unrighteousness, and his chambers by wrong; that useth his neighbour’s service without wages, and giveth him not for his work;
King James Version
13 “Woe to him who builds his house by unrighteousness, and his upper rooms by injustice, who makes his neighbor serve him for nothing and does not give him his wages, (English Standard Version)
Jer 22:13 King Jehoiakim, you are doomed! You built a palace with large rooms upstairs.
Jer 22:14 You put in big windows and used cedar paneling and red paint. But you were unfair and forced the builders to work without pay. *
Jer 22:15 More cedar in your palace doesn’t make you a better king than your father Josiah. He always did right– he gave justice to the poor and was honest. (Contemporary English Version)
I have never heard a pastor preach a sermon on Malachi 3:5. It is a very rich text, well worth a careful line-by-line exposition:
5 And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the LORD of hosts.
King James Version
5 “Then I will draw near to you for judgment. I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, against the adulterers, against those who swear falsely, against those who oppress the hired worker in his wages, the widow and the fatherless, against those who thrust aside the sojourner, and do not fear me, says the LORD of hosts. (English Standard Version)
5 The LORD All-Powerful said: I’m now on my way to judge you. And I will quickly condemn all who practice witchcraft or cheat in marriage or tell lies in court or rob workers of their pay or mistreat widows and orphans or steal the property of foreigners or refuse to respect me. (Contemporary English Version)
I have directly cited just a few of the cross references from Luke 10:7. For those that are able to take the time and effort to dig deeper, here are the cross references in full:
in the same house remain. Luk 9:4, Mat 10:11, *Mar 6:10, *Act 16:15; *Act 16:34; *Act 16:40.
eating and drinking. Luk 12:29, Num 18:31, Deut 18:8.
such things as they give. 2Ch 2:10, Eze 48:13, 1Co 9:14; 1Co 10:27.
for the labourer. +*Gen 29:15, +Lev 7:7, Deut 12:12; Deut 12:18, 19; +*Deut 24:14, Psa 90:17; **Psa 104:23 note. *Psa 128:2, Pro 14:23; Pro 22:29, Ecc 2:24, *Mat 10:10, *1Co 9:4-15, *Gal 6:6, *Php 4:17; *Php 4:18, 1Th 5:12, *>1Ti 5:17; *>1Ti 5:18, 2Ti 2:6, 3Jn 1:5, 6, 7, 8.
his hire. Gr. misthos (S# G3408, 1Ti 5:18). +*Lev 19:13, Num 18:31, +*Deu 24:15, +*Jer 22:13, +**Mal 3:5, Mat 20:8, *1Co 9:4; *1Co 9:7-14.
Go not. *Mat 10:11, *1Ti 5:13.