Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Result of Ignoring Biblical Wisdom

Luke 14:28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?

Many people today believe that there is a financial crisis, in which banks are failing because they have loaned money to people who do not repay their loans. In turn, with the banks failing, other people who were invested in the banks risk losing their money. A governmental insurer, however, is provided to make sure that those people with money in the banks don't lose their money.

Proverbs 22:26 Be not thou one of them that strike hands, or of them that are sureties for debts.

It seems that there is a serious problem here, because the Wisdom of Scripture has been ignored. Men have rushed to purchase houses that they cannot afford, failing to count the cost. Bankers have rushed to provide credit to such men, themselves failing to count the cost. The government has (in essence) made itself a surety for debts, specifically the debts of the banks to their deposit customers (the people from whom the banks get money in order to make loans).

Proverbs 26:10 The great God that formed all things both rewardeth the fool, and rewardeth transgressors.

God brings judgment on those who foolishly ignore Scriptural wisdom, whether that wisdom relates to things temporal or things eternal. It is worth noting, of course, that the financial crisis (however painful it may seem) is far less worrisome than the spiritual crisis - with eternal destruction looming for the many who have turned aside from Scripture to follow false prophets, false teachers, or simply their own imagination.

Jeremiah 17:11 As the partridge sitteth on eggs, and hatcheth them not; so he that getteth riches, and not by right, shall leave them in the midst of his days, and at his end shall be a fool.

There is now talk of a "bail-out" plan to divert money from those who earned it through hard work to those who squandered what they had. No doubt, if the plan is passed, billions will be given to those who know how to operate the political levers, but will such wealth be of lasting significance? Certainly not.

Jeremiah 17:10 I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.

God as judge is no socialist: he gives to all what they deserve. Men may try to avoid the temporal punishments and chastisements that come upon them in this life, but they will not escape the wrath to come. There will be no leveraged buy out of bad debt before the judgment throne of the Most High God.

And how great is that debt!

Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

But for all this debt - debt that no man can manipulate - there is, in fact, one way of escape. That way is by repentance from sin and faith in the sacrifice of Christ Jesus.

Men may find ways to delay God's temporal judgment for spending money they didn't have, for loaning money to people they should not have, and for being the surety for debts of the unwise. Men may even repent of this foolishness and find ways to avoid making these same mistakes in the future. But eternal judgment is coming, and our God is a consuming fire. Let us then "lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."


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