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𝒬 130. What are the sins of superiors?

𝒜. The sins of superiors are, besides the neglect of the duties required of them,1 an inordinate seeking of themselves,2 their own glory,3 ease, profit, or pleasure;4 commanding things unlawful,5 or not in the power of inferiors to perform;6 counseling,7 encouraging,8 or favoring them in that which is evil;9 dissuading, discouraging, or discountenancing them in that which is good;10 correcting them unduly;11 careless exposing, or leaving them to wrong, temptation, and danger;12 provoking them to wrath;13 or anyway dishonoring themselves, or lessening their authority, by an unjust, indiscreet, rigorous, or remiss behavior.14

  1. Ezekiel 34:2-4

    “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy, and say to them, even to the shepherds, Thus says the Lord God: Ah, shepherds of Israel who have been feeding yourselves! Should not shepherds feed the sheep? You eat the fat, you clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the fat ones, but you do not feed the sheep. The weak you have not strengthened, the sick you have not healed, the injured you have not bound up, the strayed you have not brought back, the lost you have not sought, and with force and harshness you have ruled them. (ESV)

  2. Philippians 2:21

    For they all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. (ESV)

  3. John 5:44

    How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?

    John 7:18

    The one who speaks on his own authority seeks his own glory; but the one who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and in him there is no falsehood. (ESV)

  4. Isaiah 56:10-11

    His watchmen are blind;
    they are all without knowledge;
    they are all silent dogs;
    they cannot bark,
    dreaming, lying down,
    loving to slumber.
    The dogs have a mighty appetite;
    they never have enough.
    But they are shepherds who have no understanding;
    they have all turned to their own way,
    each to his own gain, one and all.

    Deuteronomy 17:17

    And he shall not acquire many wives for himself, lest his heart turn away, nor shall he acquire for himself excessive silver and gold. (ESV)

  5. Acts 4:17-18

    But in order that it may spread no further among the people, let us warn them to speak no more to anyone in this name.” So they called them and charged them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.

    Daniel 3:4-6

    And the herald proclaimed aloud, “You are commanded, O peoples, nations, and languages, that when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, you are to fall down and worship the golden image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. And whoever does not fall down and worship shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace.” (ESV)

  6. Exodus 5:10-19

    So the taskmasters and the foremen of the people went out and said to the people, “Thus says Pharaoh, ‘I will not give you straw. Go and get your straw yourselves wherever you can find it, but your work will not be reduced in the least.’” So the people were scattered throughout all the land of Egypt to gather stubble for straw. The taskmasters were urgent, saying, “Complete your work, your daily task each day, as when there was straw.” And the foremen of the people of Israel, whom Pharaoh's taskmasters had set over them, were beaten and were asked, “Why have you not done all your task of making bricks today and yesterday, as in the past?”

    Then the foremen of the people of Israel came and cried to Pharaoh, “Why do you treat your servants like this? No straw is given to your servants, yet they say to us, ‘Make bricks!’ And behold, your servants are beaten; but the fault is in your own people.” But he said, “You are idle, you are idle; that is why you say, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to the Lord.’ Go now and work. No straw will be given you, but you must still deliver the same number of bricks.” The foremen of the people of Israel saw that they were in trouble when they said, “You shall by no means reduce your number of bricks, your daily task each day.”

    Matthew 23:2

    “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses' seat,

    Matthew 23:4

    They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger. (ESV)

  7. Matthew 14:8

    Prompted by her mother, she said, “Give me the head of John the Baptist here on a platter.”

    Mark 6:24

    And she went out and said to her mother, “For what should I ask?” And she said, “The head of John the Baptist.” (ESV)

  8. 2 Samuel 13:28

    Then Absalom commanded his servants, “Mark when Amnon's heart is merry with wine, and when I say to you, ‘Strike Amnon,’ then kill him. Do not fear; have I not commanded you? Be courageous and be valiant.” (ESV)

  9. Jeremiah 6:13-14

    “For from the least to the greatest of them,
    everyone is greedy for unjust gain;
    and from prophet to priest,
    everyone deals falsely.
    They have healed the wound of my people lightly,
    saying, ‘Peace, peace,’
    when there is no peace.

    Judges 20:13-14

    Now therefore give up the men, the worthless fellows in Gibeah, that we may put them to death and purge evil from Israel.” But the Benjaminites would not listen to the voice of their brothers, the people of Israel. Then the people of Benjamin came together out of the cities to Gibeah to go out to battle against the people of Israel. (ESV)

  10. John 7:46-49

    The officers answered, “No one ever spoke like this man!” The Pharisees answered them, “Have you also been deceived? Have any of the authorities or the Pharisees believed in him? But this crowd that does not know the law is accursed.”

    Exodus 5:17

    But he said, “You are idle, you are idle; that is why you say, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to the Lord.’

    Colossians 3:21

    Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.

    John 9:28

    And they reviled him, saying, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. (ESV)

  11. 1 Peter 2:18-20

    Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust. For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God.

    Deuteronomy 25:3

    Forty stripes may be given him, but not more, lest, if one should go on to beat him with more stripes than these, your brother be degraded in your sight. (ESV)

  12. Genesis 38:11

    Then Judah said to Tamar his daughter-in-law, “Remain a widow in your father's house, till Shelah my son grows up”—for he feared that he would die, like his brothers. So Tamar went and remained in her father's house.

    Genesis 38:26

    Then Judah identified them and said, “She is more righteous than I, since I did not give her to my son Shelah.” And he did not know her again.

    Acts 18:17

    And they all seized Sosthenes, the ruler of the synagogue, and beat him in front of the tribunal. But Gallio paid no attention to any of this.

    1 Samuel 23:15-17

    David saw that Saul had come out to seek his life. David was in the wilderness of Ziph at Horesh. And Jonathan, Saul's son, rose and went to David at Horesh, and strengthened his hand in God. And he said to him, “Do not fear, for the hand of Saul my father shall not find you. You shall be king over Israel, and I shall be next to you. Saul my father also knows this.”

    Leviticus 19:29

    “Do not profane your daughter by making her a prostitute, lest the land fall into prostitution and the land become full of depravity.

    Isaiah 58:7

    Is it not to share your bread with the hungry
    and bring the homeless poor into your house;
    when you see the naked, to cover him,
    and not to hide yourself from your own flesh? (ESV)

  13. Ephesians 6:4

    Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. (ESV)

  14. Genesis 9:21

    He drank of the wine and became drunk and lay uncovered in his tent.

    1 Kings 12:13-16

    And the king answered the people harshly, and forsaking the counsel that the old men had given him, he spoke to them according to the counsel of the young men, saying, “My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to your yoke. My father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions.” So the king did not listen to the people, for it was a turn of affairs brought about by the Lord that he might fulfill his word, which the Lord spoke by Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat.

    And when all Israel saw that the king did not listen to them, the people answered the king, “What portion do we have in David? We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse. To your tents, O Israel! Look now to your own house, David.” So Israel went to their tents.

    1 Kings 1:6

    His father had never at any time displeased him by asking, “Why have you done thus and so?” He was also a very handsome man, and he was born next after Absalom.

    1 Samuel 2:29-31

    Why then do you scorn my sacrifices and my offerings that I commanded, and honor your sons above me by fattening yourselves on the choicest parts of every offering of my people Israel?’ Therefore the Lord, the God of Israel, declares: ‘I promised that your house and the house of your father should go in and out before me forever,’ but now the Lord declares: ‘Far be it from me, for those who honor me I will honor, and those who despise me shall be lightly esteemed. Behold, the days are coming when I will cut off your strength and the strength of your father's house, so that there will not be an old man in your house.

    1 Samuel 3:13

    And I declare to him that I am about to punish his house forever, for the iniquity that he knew, because his sons were blaspheming God, and he did not restrain them. (ESV)


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Based on Calendar of Readings in the Westminster Standards by Dr. Joey Pipa. Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.