Monday, September 26, 2011

Ants and the economy

© Karen Kyle Ericson, all rights reserved.
This definitely applies to today. The more I read Proverbs, the more I realize I can either learn things the hard way, by experience.  Or the easy way, by trusting God's Word.  Honestly, I tend to learn both ways- but I want to do things like God says instead.  And the economy is like the weather, when we look at the whole world there are troubles everywhere.  One of my neighbors wisely said, "It wasn't just the government that got greedy.  We ALL did."

Proverbs 6

You see, God never intended for us to take out loans.  He intended for us to work, and earn our way.  He gave Adam and Eve jobs in the Garden of Eden.  

God took the Man and set him down in the Garden of Eden to work the ground and keep it in order. (Genesis 2:15)
God said, "It's not good for the Man to be alone; I'll make him a helper, a companion." (Genesis 2:18)
It was just man and woman taking care of the ground, enjoying the fruit from the trees, and the animals.  It was paradise. 

After the fall, things changed dramatically.  When my generation came along, we were enticed by loans.  You could save up and buy a used car, but if you took out a loan you got a new car and the payments were so small!  Who would want to save money and walk until you saved enough to get a new car?  Then you could go to college if you got a student loan.  Some parents preferred the idea of getting a loan as to saving up.  Then we got credit cards.  I remember my first one from Penney's.  I was so excited, I got a little studio apartment and quickly maxed it out on furniture.  I went to buy one more thing and I was told, "I'm sorry you have to pay off what you spent before you can use the credit card again."

Next, the car loan people called, "So why haven't you made a payment?"  Yikes!  I didn't know they watched that!  It stopped me in my tracks.  I was so embarrassed, I prayed for wisdom.  So, I started paying extra money on top of the minimum payments, and tithed.  Soon I was completely out of debt- paid things off early.  I didn't have to worry about grocery money anymore.  Were these financial problems God's punishment?  No.  It was my fault.  I got greedy.  With loans and women working, the cost of cars went up.  The cost of everything went up!  Everyone got greedy, the government raised taxes, insurance rates went up.  And now, we are facing the consequences of our actions.
1 Dear friend, if you've gone into hock with your neighbor
or locked yourself into a deal with a stranger,
2 If you've impulsively promised the shirt off your back
and now find yourself shivering out in the cold,
3 Friend, don't waste a minute, get yourself out of that mess.
You're in that man's clutches!
I love this.  
Go, put on a long face; act desperate.
4 Don't procrastinate —
there's no time to lose.
5 Run like a deer from the hunter,
fly like a bird from the trapper!

Here's another example of God's design for humans.  His original intent.  He's not saying look at the wealthy or Financial Advisers (who also make a profit from us asking), to learn how to manage money.  He's saying be wise, look at the ant.  Gotta love God.
6 You lazy fool, look at an ant.
Watch it closely; let it teach you a thing or two.
7 Nobody has to tell it what to do.
8 All summer it stores up food;
at harvest it stockpiles provisions.
9 So how long are you going to laze around doing nothing?
How long before you get out of bed?
10 A nap here, a nap there, a day off here, a day off there,
sit back, take it easy — do you know what comes next?
11 Just this: You can look forward to a dirt-poor life,
poverty your permanent house guest!

Now acquiring more debt to help the economy is being talked about in our United States Capitol.   The problem is there never should've been debt in the first place.  We all believed taking out loans was the best thing to do, so we did it.  And, now jobs are disappearing- the well's running dry.  Only God can fix this mess...  Somewhere along the line we ignored the fact that people offer loans, to make a profit for themselves more than to help us.  They can get greedy too.  Maybe we just didn't want to notice, we got caught up in things.  As I shared before, God helped me out of my mess.  I know He can help us too.  But we do need to humbly ask Him and not attack others.
12 Riffraff and rascals talk out of both sides of their mouths.
13 They wink at each other, they shuffle their feet,
they cross their fingers behind their backs.
14 Their perverse minds are always cooking up something nasty,
always stirring up trouble.
15 Catastrophe is just around the corner for them,
a total smash-up, their lives ruined beyond repair.

Seven things God hates...
16 Here are six things God hates,
and one more that he loathes with a passion:
 17 eyes that are arrogant,
a tongue that lies,
hands that murder the innocent,
18 a heart that hatches evil plots,
feet that race down a wicked track,
19 a mouth that lies under oath,
a troublemaker in the family.

I believe what God is wanting us to do, is look at the ants.  Work, save, give, serve, avoid debt if you can, pay it off quickly if you do.  Be wise.   I've heard people say, that our American economy is cursed. That's why we can't get out of this recession.  I know what I'd like to hear from the government is, "We're going to reduce our debt in a manageable way; quit spending money we don't have.  Bring jobs back to our country, so we can help other countries again."  Is this His punishment?  Nope, I personally think we did this to ourselves.  There would be no question or doubt if He got really mad.

One of the Biblical prophecies in Revelation actually describes inflation:

Revelation 6:6
“Two pounds of wheat for a day’s wages, and six pounds of barley for a day’s wages, and do not damage the oil and the wine!”

We're not there yet in the USA. It's a good time to pray for our world leaders, for wisdom.  That they will hear God's voice.

And again, we don't know when Jesus is coming.

Matthew 24:36 "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.

Almost forgot my prayer, feel free to join me if you like:

Dear Heavenly Father forgive us for our greed.  You said it, we've all sinned and fallen short of Your glory.  I lift up our leaders to You, I pray You will grant them wisdom.  Help them to understand these simple truths written thousands of years ago today.  I pray You will bless our nation again, help us elect wise leaders who will help us change our direction.  Father I lift up Greece to You.  I pray You will restore this nation.  Please pour out Your blessings on them, bring encouragement and hope to those in despair.  There's so much I don't understand.  But You see all and know all.  I don't know what to do.  But my eyes are on You.  Let Your mercy fall on our world.

In Jesus Name, Amen.


  1. We always do it to ourselves. Individually and collectively. It's been true throughout history. That is why the bible is timeless. But when will we pay attention to it?

    When it is too late, of course....

  2. Thanks for your comment Clint. I hope it's not too late. Part of me wants to see Jesus come back, but the other part hurts for those suffering right now. This was a hard post. I had to do some edits, got a little opinionated. We're all feeling a lot of emotions about things. We just need to trust in God's love.

  3. Karen, I like that you chose "ants" here. I collected them in homemade ant farms when I was a little girl and used to study them. Once I even brought one of my collections in a big jar with dirt and all in the house. (Mother had a melt down!) Ants will build their tunnels, etc. in fresh dirt even in jars. It's fun because if you cover the sides with a cloth and then remove it after I few days you can see them going through the tunnels and working. Of course, you have to provide crumbs, etc. on top of their dirt for them. The creator of the universe is behind all that they do and they do it right wherever they are.

    We have a lot to learn from them. Thanks for sharing. Loved it! J.