12th February 2014

God And Debt 

“And you shall consecrate the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land to all it’s inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you; and each of you shall return to his possession, and each of you shall return to his family.”
Leviticus 25:10 (NKJV)

It’s impossible to watch the news or read a paper these days without being told that our country is deep in debt. The figures are mind-boggling and you wonder how can our Politicians have spent so much money? Did they not realize that we, as a nation, have been living beyond our means for so many years? Do they run their personal finances with the same casual attitude to debt? 

But before we rush to condemn them, it seems that a collective madness has affected the leaders of many nations in these last few years. The mighty USA has also run up enormous debts; individual nations in Europe have been on a mad spending spree; and finally reality is dawning on both politicians and people. 

In the same way, many individuals have also been living beyond their means and running up debts. So the UK, as a nation, and many individuals in it, find themselves in a huge financial mess. As we have to face up to this massive problem both as a nation and as individuals the old saying comes to mind: “ Income £1.00, expenditure 95p equals happiness:  income £1.00, expenditure £1.05p equals misery.” 

What about God and debt?  Do we find a financial model in the Bible? One principle that would make a huge difference today was the Jubilee year. This was every 50th year and was a time when debts were forgiven and land returned to the original owner. Land was bought and sold according to how many years before or after a jubilee year the transaction took place. In modern terminology, land was leased. This meant that a person who had lost their land because of bad financial management would have the hope of it being returned, to give them or their family a fresh start. This is laid out in detail in Leviticus chapter 25, verses 8 to 25. 

Elsewhere in the Bible a number of verses, for example Exodus 22:25, make clear that taking advantage of those in need and charging interest on a loan to poor people was not acceptable. What a contrast to the interest rates charged by payday lenders today! God gave humanity a financial system which was fair, balanced and took account of human nature. 

Today we can’t make nations operate on Biblical principles, but we can, as individuals, seek to do so ourselves. Everyday living makes it difficult to keep our ‘heads above water’ and this can cause us some level of discouragement or depression. There is no miraculous solution to all your financial problems overnight, but there is spiritual encouragement to help you face the burdens of life. Jesus says in Matthew 11:28, “Come to Me, all you who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.” 

Father, give us wisdom in financial matters that we may not be crushed by debt. But if we are, give us the wisdom to seek the help we need and the discipline to live within our means.

Study by Keith Hartrick


keithhartrickAbout the Author:
Keith Hartrick is an Elder in Grace Communion Church – Leeds, a Congregation of the Worldwide Church of God UK, and serves on the Church Council there.

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion – Leeds
Garden Village Welfare Association Community Centre
Pendas Way
LS15 8LE

Meeting Time:
Saturday 2PM

Local Congregational Contact:
Malcolm Arnold
Phone:  01484-312347
Email: malcolm.john.arnold@ntlworld.com

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One Response to “12th February 2014”

  1. John Rodgers on February 12th, 2014 12:52 pm

    Thank you for a very sensible day by day. Just as the country is slowly coming out of the recession we are hit with this unclement weather. A red weather warning has just been issued. The only solution we have for the problems the country faces, is to take heed of 2 Chronicles 7 :14 ” If my people,which are called by my name, shall humble themselves and pray,and seek my face,and turn from their wicked ways; then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal there land”. Unfortunately no leader ,either in church or state are warning about the consequences of ignoring the Wrd of God, and those who give a warning are laughed at and even dismissed from their posts.. Even among Christian ,I have heard it said,” he may be right,but it is not the thing to say”
    I have heard it said in WWCof God bacb in the Sixties, ” as the world gets darker the light in the Christians will show brighter”. Part of the light showing brighter, is issuing a warning. The warning brings attention to where the light is coming from. John

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