The next big fight in Congress is whether or not to raise the current debt ceiling. Supposedly, Capitol Hill and 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue—purportedly filled with self-avowed Christians—understand that this spending and debt accumulation cannot go on forever. Alas, right understanding does not always turn into right action, particularly not inside the Beltway.
Much can be read on the Internet reasons for and against raising the debt ceiling. What does the Bible say about the level of debt our nation is carrying? It describes it in one word: oppression.
As you know, one of my Old Testament heroes is Nehemiah. He was a man of great godly character, an exemplary leader, and confrontational against all enemies of God, foreign and domestic. Nehemiah was commissioned by King Artaxerxes to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the city.
Nehemiah and the Jewish people faced ridicule and the risk of violence from Sanballat, Tobiah, the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites because “the walls of Jerusalem were being restored and the gaps were beginning to be closed” (Nehemiah 4:7).
Nehemiah’s faith in the Lord and his great leadership skills allowed him to deal with the foreign enemies. However, his anger was greatly raised by the domestic enemies:
“And there was a great outcry of the people and their wives against their Jewish brethren. For there were those who said, ‘We, our sons, and our daughters are many; therefore let us get grain, that we may eat and live.’ There were also some who said, ‘We have mortgaged our lands and vineyards and houses, that we might buy grain because of the famine.’ There were also those who said, ‘We have borrowed money for the king’s tax on our lands and vineyards. Yet now our flesh is as the flesh of our brethren, our children as their children; and indeed we are forcing our sons and our daughters to be slaves, and some of our daughters have been brought into slavery. It is not in our power to redeem them, for other men have our lands and vineyards.’ And I became very angry when I heard their outcry and these words. After serious thought, I rebuked the nobles and rulers, and said to them, ‘Each of you is exacting usury from his brother.’ So I called a great assembly against them. And I said to them, ‘According to our ability we have redeemed our Jewish brethren who were sold to the nations. Now indeed, will you even sell your brethren? Or should they be sold to us?’ Then they were silenced and found nothing to say.” (Nehemiah 5:1-8)
Oh would to God that 535 elected officials in Washington DC be silenced and have nothing to say in their shame for the oppressive debt they have exacted on our children and grandchildren! Are there not 292 godly men and women in the House of Representatives who would say, “NO MORE!”? Is the same not true of 67 in the Senate? I use those numbers because they will have to overcome the veto of the Usurper-in-Chief.
The people cried out to Nehemiah because they had borrowed “money for the king’s tax on our lands and vineyards.” The private property and businesses of the Jewish people were being confiscated by the ungodly acts of their government. So much so, they were forcing their sons and their daughters to be slaves, and had even sold some of their daughters into slavery.
Our current debt is selling our children and grandchildren into slavery. By slavery I mean bondage; we are being sold into involuntary servitude and sold to other nations buying up our debt. Our elected officials are no longer worthy of our trust if they are willing to sell our futures because of some supposed boogey man on the horizon, the same foreboding that was before us for TARP 1 and 2 (of which there is still money left in those pots). Our elected officials have been unfaithful with our taxes and Jesus told us a parable of such men and women:
“He also said to His disciples: ‘There was a certain rich man who had a steward, and an accusation was brought to him that this man was wasting his goods. So he called him and said to him, “What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward.” Then the steward said within himself, “What shall I do? For my master is taking the stewardship away from me. I cannot dig; I am ashamed to beg. I have resolved what to do, that when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.” So he called every one of his master’s debtors to him, and said to the first, “How much do you owe my master?” And he said, “A hundred measures of oil.” So he said to him, “Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.” Then he said to another, “And how much do you owe?” So he said, “A hundred measures of wheat.” And he said to him, “Take your bill, and write eighty.” So the master commended the unjust steward because he had dealt shrewdly. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light. And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by unrighteous mammon, that when you faill, they may receive you into an everlasting home. He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own? No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.’” (Luke 16:1-13)
So what’s the point of this story? One, the steward knew he was about to lose his job, so he took advantage of the opportunity to endear himself to those indebted to his boss so they would help him out when he was fired. And be sure to understand that Jesus’ point is not that commending the steward for committing fraud; as Wiersbe says, “Jesus commended the man for his wise use of opportunity.”
We need to be wise with our time and our money.
We need to understand that we cannot serve God and money.
Many a righteous man and woman have gone to Washington DC to serve with godly character and succumb to the devil’s delights.
And they actually have no choice; they have to serve one or the other. They can’t straddle the fence. They can’t compromise on principles and expect to maintain godliness. It is impossible.
Wiersbe puts serving two masters this way:
We cannot love or serve two masters, anymore than we can walk in two directions at one time. If we choose to serve money, then we cannot serve God. If we choose to serve God, the we will not serve money. Jesus is demanding integrity, total devotion to God that puts Him first in everything (Matt. 6:33).
Our elected officials who are unfaithful with our money will be unfaithful with the power we’ve invested in them.
It is time to stop selling our nation because we are selling our children and grandchildren into bondage.
It must stop now; today.
Not later, not next month, not the next continuing resolution, not the 2012 budget.
It must stop today.
Tell your US Representative and Senators as much.
And do it today.
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Copyright © 2011 David Jeffers
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