God's Guide for Avoiding Recession

Today I read Deuteronomy 13-15 and Galatians 1. As I reflect on what I just read I am struck by the rules that God put in place to really take care of everyone. He put in place the idea of a year of jubilee, that every seven years debts where forgiven and slaves were allowed to go free. Also, people were to give the first tenth of all that they owned to God and every three years to give a portion to the Levites who had not inheritance of their own because they served God. He also commanded them to look out for the poor, even the poor in the land that were not their own to take care of them and give them what they needed. In the “rules” God was establishing, he was making sure everyone was taken care of and no one would go without and the people would be blessed in doing this as long as they continued to serve God and follow what he commanded.

I think about my own day in relation to what God established in Israel and I can see why those rules were so important. People of their own natural accord will only look out for themselves and not just for what they need to survive but for everything they can get to build up some false sense of security. Even if they have tons of money there is always greed for more “just in case.” So people will forget those who are in need because they have their own survival instinct and greed that leads them to turn a blind eye to anyone around them. So God established rules in these three chapters that dealt with the people’s source of security, he gave rules for how they relied on God instead of other gods, gave their money to God and others instead of hoarding it for themselves, and forgave debts and slaves every seven years instead of lording it over people who owed them and keeping people in perpetual debt in order to build their own wealth off of their backs. Today in an economy that is going very bad and things that are sinking fast, people are in a sense of helplessness and striving for anything that has a sense of stability. This whole mess was brought on by people violating the commands God gave to the nation of Israel way back then. People have been worshiping the gods of materialism and doing whatever it takes to get ahead, even if it was unethical and in some cases illegal. They have forgot that everything they have comes from God and began to believe that they could do anything and money would roll in. They also, exploited people and put them into mortgages and other debts that they could never afford in order to make money for themselves all the while setting those people up for a hard fall.

What God established way back then is so applicable today and was only further explained in the New Testament. I a need to make sure I have no other god that gets in the way of my relationship with Jesus Christ. It is only because of him that I have life and breath in my lungs and his principles are eternal. Money and possessions need to be a distant fourth in my life compared to what God has called me to do. I know he has sustained me thus far and he will continue to do so as I seek to follow his guidelines for living.

Lord, help me to be a man who is dependent on you and you alone. Help me to avoid the trap that money and possessions can create in my life. Help me to see that everything I have and all that I am comes from you. Amen.
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