For more than a year, we have been wading our way through a global financial meltdown. Truth be told, no one really has an answer to the problems. Since the crisis began, we’ve seen more than 100 banks fail in the nation. Foreclosures continue to rise. Unemployment is hovering near 10%. Most level-headed people understand that we cannot borrow our way out of this because we have to pay it back. Try running up a trillion or so dollars on your Visa card and then only pay the minimum payment each month. That’s our nation’s monetary policy right now. Certainly, it would be nice to print enough money to pay off everyone’s mortgage, car notes, credit card bills, student loans, the national debt, and buy everyone an ice cream cone, the truth of the matter that doing so only decreases the value of the dollar and makes the possibility of budget breaking inflation an all too serious reality.
Republicans will tell you that they have a solution, but they didn’t have a solution last year when this started. Democrats will tell you that they have a solution. I’ll believe it when I see it. Maybe it is written somewhere in the 2,000-page healthcare bill. Let me know when you finish reading it if it’s included or not.
There are many doomsdayers out there talking about the demise of the dollar and the implementation of a single currency. Now I am the last one to jump on every conspiracy theory bandwagon that comes into my inbox, but with some of the stuff that is going on right now, even I have considered filling the basement with bullets, beef stew, and bottled water. Anybody remember how to barter?
Maybe this sounds crazy, but could it be that we are in the mess we are in because God has something to do with it? I’ll be the first to admit, such a belief might not be popular right now with our “progressive culture.” We’re beyond such superstitious beliefs about God. Surely he’s just a warm and cozy Creator eager to make us wealthy, like a big eternal teddy bear stuffed with money. God would not dare make such a politically unwise choice as to allow the demise of the United States economy. Dare I say it? Would God be so bold as to cause the demise of the economy?
Even a casual reading of the Bible reveals that God is not opposed to using things that we will find shocking to get our attention. I am reminded of the rich young ruler in the Gospels. He was a good man – today he would be the guy who is always at church, sings in the choir, and faithfully gives 10% of his gross. No one would dare question his heart. God did. He told him that though he did all the right stuff, his heart had one big idol – his wealth. To fix this, he needed to sell EVERYTHING and give it to the poor, and only then could he follow Jesus. God surely caught this guy’s attention.
In Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in Daniel 4, God gives the king a vision of a magnificent tree being cut down. No big deal right? Not unless you’re Nebuchadnezzar (or a tree-hugging environmentalist). It turns out when you read extra-biblical sources from Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom, he was a tree fanatic. His favorite place to be was in the cedar forests of Lebanon. Ancient sources say that he decorated the city with rich vegetation and lots of trees. We even have the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world, built by Nebuchadnezzar. Sure, it was only a tree in the dream, but for Nebuchadnezzar, it caught every ounce of his attention.
Could it be that God is trying to capture our focus today? Could the unraveling of our economy be the hand of God simply trying to get our attention? If so, I hope we start listening soon – before it’s too late, before His patience is exhausted with us.
I hope you’re paying attention!