Our economic depression: Sowing and reaping

Published 6:00 am Saturday, February 7, 2009

This is the last article in a short series, for now, on the Bible and our Economy. But, I assume I will visit this again with some simple truths when impressed to do so.

I do not claim to have an intelligent grasp on our economic recession/depression. But I do seek to keep somewhat aware of what has happened, is happening and will happen by reading summary articles in Time Magazine, U. S. News and World Report, U.S.A. Today, other publications and by listening to limited relative TV News reports.

Some simple truths are obvious to me concerning the down turn/recession/depression. First, “whatever we sow we shall also reap.” All kinds of financial institutions of America have been sowing the seeds for financial collapse for a long time. The harvest has come and is coming in the form of financial institutions’ failures; the impossibility of families to sustain their home mortgage payments resulting in the housing crisis; the downsizings, cutbacks and bankruptcies of companies; and the millions of job losses. It is now being revealed that the financial institutions have pursued the same path of “the foolish man who built his house upon the sand” and could not withstand the storms.

Second, the brightest and best of economic minds do not agree on the path to recovery except that the government must intervene and do so quickly. Some see the government response to be the same direction that caused the crisis in the first place: going further in debt which will require repayment by all of us and by future generations.

Third, it is evident that most all Americans will be affected in some negative way and many very adversely. The fall out is affecting people not only financially but emotionally, mentally and physically. This is reported by psychologists, marriage counselors, divorce lawyers, doctors and spouse abuse/child abuse social workers.

Fourth, it is quite certain that the effects of this recession/depression will last for several years and the solutions will eventually include the reforming of Social Security and Medicare.

In this economic crisis, is there a word from God, and if there is what is it? There were economic depression crises experienced in the Old Testament and the New Testament by God’s nation and God’s church. Sometimes it was a judgment of God upon his nation and included a call from God for true repentance with the assurance that God would respond and intervene (see 2 Chronicles 7:13-14). Sometimes it was the opportunity for the more fortunate to respond with concern and sacrifice towards persons in great financial need (Acts 11:27-30).

In Psalm 11:3 the question is asked, “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” Now and in the future of this crisis many will feel that the foundations they have been relying upon are crumbling beneath them. I will emphasize now only one response I am sure we all need to make. Let’s allow this crisis to bring us to our knees in prayer. You may say, “That’s too simple!” The Bible says about the Disciple Peter, “But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’ “ (Matthew 14:30). Prayer is our first way of involving God and God’s first way of involving us in a crisis. We may do more than pray after we have prayed. But we cannot do anything more important than pray. What is more practical and simple than Jesus teaching us to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11)?

Yes, we must pray for ourselves and our needs when our foundations are being destroyed. We must intercede for others whose foundations are being destroyed. But, also, we must pray diligently for the “decision makers” in our National Government who are responsible for economic leadership (1 Timothy 2:1-3). This includes our new President, but probably even more so for the President’s National Economic Council, the treasurer, the responsible committees, the House of Representatives and the Senate. This is serious business. Some admit that they do not have the answers. Do not consider that your prayers are not important. They are and they are important now!