GLEANINGS FROM THE SCRIPTURES
Solving Economic Problems
By Keith L. Estes
Is this statement true or false?
"The real solution to our economic problems is a system which will eliminate poverty on one hand and excessive profits on the other."
The answer to the question is False. First of all, God wants us to look to Him for our daily bread- not to a governmental system. Government has a very important part to play in society but it cannot be all things to all people. Remember the Lord's Prayer is a request to God: "Give us this day our daily bread."
Since Lyndon Johnson's "Great Society" program, designed to eliminate poverty, there is now more poverty in this country and in the world, than ever.
As a young man walking the streets of Tacoma, Washington, with just a few dollars- it didn't take an act of Congress to impress upon me that I had better be diligent in changing my situation if I wanted to continue eating. When I lost all my money gambling, it didn't take a Senator to remind me that in trying to double my money I also took a chance on losing all of it. While working for an airport taxi service, I drove an influential man to his home. He gave me a tip and then said, "Tomorrow- Tri Star in the fifth." I asked some of the men at the airport what that meant. They said, "Bet on Tri-Star in the fifth race at the track, that is your second tip." It didn't take the County Commission to remind me that if he knew before the race who was going to win that the race was rigged. Yes, Tri Star won. It didn't take a religious leader to tell me that all was not right at the track and that if I spent money for gambling I was being used by unscrupulous people.
God uses financial distress to accomplish purposes which go beyond the immediate need of provision. In some cases, God uses poverty to bring a wicked person to his senses as in the case of the prodigal son. The poverty which the prodigal son faced was his motivation to repent and return to his father's authority. "...I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned..."
The welfare system in a secular state replaces God and fathers in the care of sons and daughters, thus removing this vital motivation. An economic system which insulates people from any failure will also insulate them from the motivation to call out to the Lord.
In other cases God uses financial needs to give Christians an opportunity to give to the poor as Christ's representatives and, by so doing, lay up treasures in heaven.
The economic crisis of our day is not just the result of a financial system. It is the direct result of violating basic Scriptural principles. God promises that any person or nation who does this will experience financial pressures.
References: Be Alert To Spiritual Danger, IBLP Oak Brook, Ill. Matt. 6:11, Luke 15: 11-32, Mark 10:21; Matt 6:19-20, Deut. 28: 12-48.