or a Chance to Live
in God's Economy?
First published in the January/February 2009 Digest, The Global Economics Crisis: Codes Detail Numerous Causes and Effects article is as timely today as it was in 2009.
BCD decided to delve a little further into a few of those codes to examine the context of the Scriptures they pass through to see if it would clarify any further the meaning of the codes, or provide insight into how to deal with the economic crisis. We examined the following four codes:
- Interest Rate (B2) Who has embraced for us the interest rate from one handful grasp to another?
- Interest Rate (B5) My plague is the interest rate.
- Great Depression (3) He will strike me with the great depression.
- Stock Market (5) The stock market is teaching them.
As we examine the context of these four codes, we will see that God is sovereign, merciful and just, and that He provides a direction to go in life. In the Book of Numbers, it was a cloud to guide the Israelites in the desert. For us, the guide is the Word of God.
Throughout Scripture, God describes His economy vs. the world's economy. We are encouraged to live in His economy, by putting God first, having integrity, and being generous and forgiving people. This is the opposite of the world's economy, which is so often, everyone scrambling to get to the top, regardless of who gets hurt.
We are reminded that man does not live solely for his stomach or the treasures of this world, but by the Word of God. He longs for our love and devotion and is jealous when we put idols (in this case money) before Him. He wants to save and redeem us and pour out His lovingkindness upon us.
We are encouraged to remember the things God has done by making a written record of what God has done in our lives. We are admonished not to gloat over those less fortunate, not to take advantage of or abuse others, and that freedom from captivity comes from God. He is the Good Shepherd who seeks after His sheep to care and provide for them. In troubled times, we are tempted to think God has forsaken us, but He is always near and His Name is Wonderful.
Nathan Jacobi, Ph.D., parsed and translated the codes in this article.
In the context tables, the original search terms letters have a shaded background.
Interest Rate (B2)
Who has embraced for us the interest rate
from one handful grasp to another?
We previously commented on this code:
Who has embraced for us the interest rate could refer to anyone who has the power to change the interest rate. One handful grasp to another could refer to the greed of those who are making money from interest rates, or to the efforts of the Federal Reserve Board and the International Monetary Fund to stimulate economic activity by lowering interest rates.
If the code is read from a more personal POV, it could imply people living from paycheck to paycheck while watching the interest rates fluctuate.
[Note: Since this code has a negative skip, the context and chronology of the Scripture runs backwards. So for example, we will comment that Israel was restored to their land, and later that they were prevented from going to the land. This will seem strange, as they were first prevented from getting to the land and then were restored to it.]
Again we will look at the story the context seems to be telling. Looking at the first half of the context, we find Israel is restored to the land God gave them.
Then they shall know that I am the LORD their God, who sent them into captivity among the nations, but also brought them back to their land, and left none of them captive any longer.—Ezekiel 39:28 (NKJV)
This could refer to Israel coming into being in 1948. It speaks of God allowing captivity, but also providing freedom and restoration. Certainly financial problems feel very much like captivity, and we would all like to be freed from them.
The context of the second two letters could refer to the End Times War: The description of a battle between Israel and the armies of Gog. Gog will be the leader of the army of Magog, which many believe will originate from Russia. After the conflict, comes the renewal of Israel.
The fourth letter of the code appears in Ezekiel 37:9, which is at the heart of the huge Ezekiel 37 terrorist cluster covered in several BCD articles. This could be seen as tying this code to our present time.
When Israel wants to pass through Mt. Seir, which was given to Esau, Esau won't allow them, so God passes a judgment on Mt. Seir and Esau's descendents, the Edomites:
As you rejoiced over the inheritance of the house of Israel because it was desolate, so will I deal with you; you shall be a waste and desolation, O Mount Seir and all Edom, all of it. Then they shall know, understand, and realize that I am the Lord [the Sovereign Ruler, Who calls forth loyalty and obedient service].—Ezekiel 35:15 (AMP)
Gloating over the desolation of Israel and preventing them from returning to their land brought down desolation upon Mt. Seir and the Edomites. This may parallel the lives of some of the bank and business executives during the economic crisis. They preyed upon their clients only to be discovered and had their own lives become desolate either through the notoriety, or by being sentenced to jail.
As the Good Shepherd, God seeks after His sheep to gather them up and protect them. He also issues a warning to the fat, ungrateful sheep who after eating what they want, trample the food and foul the water that the thin sheep would eat and drink. This is an admonition against selfishness and abuse.
Several Scriptures deal with Egypt, which can symbolize the world or worldliness. One in particular describes Egypt as a tree not worth keeping. In addition, there is prophecy about the desolation of Egypt and her allies, and a colorful Scripture describing catching Egypt like a fish on a hook.
By the swords of the mighty ones I will cause your hordes to fall; all of them are tyrants of the nations, and they will devastate the pride of Egypt, and all its hordes will be destroyed.—Ezekiel 32:12 (NASB)
"I will put hooks in your jaws And make the fish of your rivers cling to your scales. And I will bring you up out of the midst of your rivers, and all the fish of your rivers will cling to your scales."—Ezekiel 29:4 (NASB)
The first half of this code's context speaks of not gloating over those less fortunate, not taking advantage of or abusing others, and that freedom from captivity comes from God. God is the Good Shepherd who cares and provides for His sheep.
The following is the complete context for this code:
Interest Rate continued
Interest Rate (B5)
My plague is the interest rate.
We first commented on this code:
It's not a stretch to imagine someone woeful in prayer about interest rates. Many holders of subprime mortgages with adjustable interest rates were squeezed financially when interest rates rose and their monthly mortgage payments increased.
Looking at the first half of this code's context, we find the following train of thought. God is more than capable of ransoming or rescuing, but the question is posed, should He not punish idolatry? We are reminded of God's mercy and justice, that pride precedes captivity, and that we should humble ourselves.
We begin in Isaiah 50:2. Here are the first two verses in Isaiah 50.
This is what the LORD says:
"Where is your mother’s certificate of divorce
with which I sent her away?
Or to which of my creditors
did I sell you?
Because of your sins you were sold;
because of your transgressions your mother was sent away.
When I came, why was there no one?
When I called, why was there no one to answer?
Was my arm too short to ransom you?
Do I lack the strength to rescue you?
By a mere rebuke I dry up the sea,
I turn rivers into a desert;
their fish rot for lack of water
and die of thirst."—Isaiah 50:1-2 (NIV 1984)
God is pointing out the absurdity of thinking He is not capable of ransoming or rescuing Israel. "Was my arm too short to ransom you? Do I lack the strength to rescue you?" If with a word, He can dry up the sea, can He not come to Israel's rescue?
He is more than capable of saving, but should he leave Israel unpunished for their idolatry? In Isaiah 57:6, God reasons whether or not to punish idolatry.
Should I be quiet in spite of all these things [and leave them unpunished—bearing them with patience]?—Isaiah 57:6b, (AMP)
God feels what we feel, and He is merciful.
In all their affliction He was afflicted,
And the angel of His presence saved them;
In His love and in His mercy He redeemed them,
And He lifted them and carried them all the days of old.—Isaiah 63:9 (NASB)
The context continues with God lamenting the defiant and rebellious heart of the people, and that in spite of the benefits He would provide, they do not fear or love God:
But this people has a defiant and rebellious heart;
They have revolted and departed.
They do not say in their heart,
"Let us now fear the LORD our God,
Who gives rain, both the former and the latter, in its season.
He reserves for us the appointed weeks of the harvest."—Jeremiah 5:23-24 (NKJV)
The middle of the code lands in a section of Scripture that talks about pride preceding captivity, and that we should humble ourselves.
. . . Humble yourselves and take a lowly seat, for down from your head has come your beautiful crown (the crown of your glory).—Jeremiah 13:18b (AMP)
What does all of this have to do with a code about interest rates? It reminds us to put God first, and in doing so, money will have a proper place in our lives. God is more than capable coming to our rescue, and that indulging in idolatry or the love of money brings calamity. God is merciful and just, and we should humble ourselves so that our pride does not precipitate captivity or judgment. In other words, making money the most important thing in our lives can lead to disastrous results. Almost daily the media parades a procession of wealthy people making headlines due to the disasters in their personal lives. The obsessively wealthy are often dogged by addictions, abuse, people stealing from them, and trouble with the law.
This reminds us of two of the Ten Commandments.
You shall have no other gods before Me.
You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.—Exodus 20:3-4 (NASB)
The second commandment listed above comes with a promise. God promises to show lovingkindness to those who love Him and keep His commandments and that same blessing to their descendants for a thousand generations. That is a remarkable promise, which far outweighs any benefit, which might arise by putting money first in our lives.
The following is the complete context of this code:
Great Depression (3)
He will strike me with the great depression.
We previously commented on this code, "While we do not know who he or me are, the symbolism of being struck with the great depression is a brutal picture of its effects."
Gathering from six or seven of the Scriptures this codes passes through, a little story can be told. It begins with God providing a direction to go in life. In the Book of Numbers, it was a cloud to guide the Israelites in the desert. For us, it is the Word of God. Then we are reminded repeatedly to be generous, giving people and that man does not live solely for his stomach or the treasures of this world, but by the Word of God. We are encouraged to remember the things God has done by making stone memorials, or a written record of what God has done in our lives. In troubled times, we are tempted to think God has forsaken us, but He is always near and His Name is Wonderful.
The codes says, He will strike me with the great depression. The life lessons in these passages are valuable for daily life and in times of financial crisis. In our searches, we were thinking of the term as a financial one, but it could also be talking about a great emotional depression. The above truths are helpful either way.
The following is the complete context for this code:
Stock Market (5)
The stock market is teaching them.
We first commented on this code:
A frequent topic in the news is what can we learn from the change in the stock market. Many had come to believe that the stock market was the best place to invest their money, but recent events have taught them much about its volatility and riskiness.
A natural question to ask after reading this code is, "What is the stock market teaching them?"
Almost half of the verses that this code passes through have to do with various types of sacrifices or offerings.
- The sacrifice of abstaining from alcohol (the Nazirite vow)
- Offerings that are acceptable and not acceptable
- Fat offerings
- Grain offerings
- An offering of labor: women spinning goat hair into yarn for the Tabernacle
- Whole animal offerings.
In looking at the context, it's not really the type of offering that is important, but the fact that repeatedly the topic is about offerings. While we are no longer in the habit of slaying animals for offerings, this is a reminder to be generous, and place God first in our lives.
In addition, we are admonished to not afflict widows or orphans, and God rescues the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. They pass through the Red Sea safely, while the Egyptians are killed in their attempt to pass.
The life of Joseph is also part of this context. He is abused by his brothers only to rise to the second highest position in Egypt, where he is in the position to provide for them when they are starving from a famine at home. His life story is one of forgiveness and generosity.
The final verse has to do with Judah dealing unfairly with the widow of his eldest child. Rather than providing for her by giving her to his other son as a wife, as Judah has promised, she has to trick him into fathering a child with her by posing as a prostitute, and thereby force him to keep his promise of providing for her. This story teaches us the importance of integrity.
So what is the stock market teaching us? Perhaps the volatile nature of it is teaching us to remember that we should not put money first in our lives, but put God first, and remember to have integrity and to be forgiving and generous people.
The following is the complete context of this code:
A Chance to Live in God's Economy
The context of these four economic crisis codes demonstrates that we are encouraged to live in God's economy, by putting God first, and in doing so, money will have a proper place in our lives. God is more than capable of coming to our rescue, and that indulging in idolatry or the love of money brings calamity into our lives. We are reminded to have integrity and to be generous and forgiving people, and that man does not live solely for his stomach or the treasures of this world, but by the Word of God.
Unlike many who try to get ahead by stepping on or abusing others, we should not gloat over those less fortunate and not take advantage of or abuse others. We are encouraged to remember and make a record of the things God has done. In troubled times, such as these, we are tempted to think God has forsaken us, but He is always near. He is the Good Shepherd who cares and provides for His sheep.
These New Testament passages illustrate many of the points in this article:
People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.
Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.—1 Timothy 6:9-11, 17-19 (NIV 1984)
Scripture quotations marked "NKJV"TM are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright ©1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations marked "NIV 1984" are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations marked (AMP) are taken from the Amplified Bible, Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
Scripture quotations marked (NASB) taken from the New American Standard Bible®, Copyright ©1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. (www.Lockman.org)
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