Christmas In October, Really?

Scripture Study – NUMBERS 24:17

Okay, it may be a bit early for a blog-POST about A “STAR” at Christmas, especially since I’ve been reading and studying in the Book of Numbers in the OT of the Bible.  I don’t believe in ‘happenstance,’ so before venturing down a dead-end road I prayed and asked God for some answers to the timing of this POST.  Why had God’s Spirit given me this particular verse at this particular time?

Here is how He answered my questions:

Isaiah 55:8-9 (NIV Bible)

[8] “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.  [9] “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

So after meditating on God’s answer from His Word, I began to consider our Saviors birth and the details knowing that Jesus’ birth is amazing at any time of the year and not just during the Christmas holidays.

CONSIDERING THE DETAILS OF JESUS’ BIRTH…

Would we have planned it that way?  None of us would choose to lay our newborn in a trough where animals had fed.  I wouldn’t have.

BUT THAT WAS GOD’S WAY FOR HIS SON!

Maybe we would have thought, “Yea!  Let’s send some angels!”

Would we have sent them to no-name shepherds, out in the country where no one else could see them?  I wouldn’t!

GOD’S WAY IS NOT OUR WAY!!

But God’s Way Does Not Fail!

That’s something for us to take heart to, especially when tragedies in the world recently make us want to cry out,  “Why God, why this way?  It’s too hard for me to understand!”  But His Way doesn’t fail!

With that thought in mind, look closely now at this PROPHESY from NUMBERS 24.  I think you’ve heard this Prophesy many times before and you know how it’s fulfilled in JESUS.

But after looking at the CONTEXT of the verse, God’s Way becomes all the more AMAZING!

His Way Amazes!

This PROPHECY didn’t come about in the usual way.  It wasn’t spoken directly by the LORD when He promised the Savior to Adam and Eve or to Abraham.  The words weren’t unspoken by a BELIEVING PROPHET of Israel–Isaiah or Micah.  It was spoken by someone whom we would call a Sorcerer.  His name was Balaam, son of Beor.

As the story begins, the LORD had brought ISRAEL out of Egypt about 40 years earlier.  And now was the time to enter the Promised Land.

On the east side of the Jordan River, Israel’s armies had defeated Sihon, king of the Amorites and Og, king of Bashan.  So when the people of Moab saw this, they became terrified!  Can you imagine over 601,000 combat-ready troops approaching the city where you live?

Then king Balak, son of Zippor took action.  If the Amorites couldn’t stand against Israel, he figured he couldn’t either, so he tried another tactic.  He sent an envoy to Balaam, son of Beor in Pethor.  He wanted to employ Balaam to CURSE Israel.  If they were CURSED, perhaps the outcome of the battle would be to their favor.

That night the LORD told Balaam not to go and he sends the envoy back to king Balak the next day.  But Balak was persistent and sent more princes who were more distinguished and promised Balaam with even greater rewards.

That night the LORD allowed him to go, IF, and only IF, he did exactly what the LORD would tell him.  As Balaam sets out, he apparently had decided in his heart, not to do what the LORD would tell him.  You know, the old crossed fingers behind the back tradition.

The angel of the LORD stood in his way and would have killed him on the spot, except Balaam’s donkey saw the angel and went off the path around him.  Since Balaam couldn’t see the angel, he became angry with his donkey.  Finally, for the third time, there was no room for the donkey to go around and it sat down and Balaam beat the poor animal.

AND THEN THE DONKEY SPOKE:

“Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day?  Have I been in the habit of doing this to you?”  (Numbers 22:29 NIV)

And the LORD opened Balaam’s eyes to see the angel, agreeing to speak ONLY what the LORD told him.

Now King Balak readied seven altars with sacrifices in preparation for Balaam to curse Israel.  But instead of a CURSE, Balaam spoke a BLESSING instead since those were the words of the LORD.

King Balak had Balaam try again at another place and again he blessed Israel.

They tried a third time and instead of resorting to SORCERY as he had on previous occasions, Balaam continued to BLESS Israel as the LORD had told him.  By now, King Balak was furious!  But before he left, Balaam spoke some more words with a BLESSING and PROPHECY, including the Text for this BLOG-POST in Numbers 24:17 (NIV) – 

“I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near.  A STAR will come out of Jacob; a scepter will rise out of Israel.  He will crush the foreheads of Moab, the skulls of all the people of Sheth.”

His Way Brings Hope!

People have looked to the STARS for hope throughout the ages past.  Ancient astrologers tried to predict the future from the Stars.  Modern science looks to the Stars to find new planets, a new hope when the earth is dried up.

Then we have celebrities, movie stars, and people look to them for hope and inspiration.  But how they disappoint!  All those different kinds of STARS are FALSE Hope.

But these words in Numbers 24:17 are spoken from such an unlikely source, these words were spoken almost three and a half millenniums ago, these words are THINGS spoken that don’t disappoint.

For God’s Ways Do Not Fail!

That STAR did come at the right time and was laid in a manger.

 

How many years had passed for God’s way to work out according to His schedule of GRACE, not our schedule of instant gratification.

“I see Him, but not now; I behold Him, but not now”

Numbers 24:17 (NIV).

Almost 1500 years after these words were spoken before THAT STAR came.

But He did come!  The LORD keeps His Word!  And that should bring us all HOPE.  Hope doesn’t disappoint or prove false.

For the LORD keeps His Promises.

In Moments of the Darkness of Sin…what does the Hope of the Star Bring?

How dark the night can be!  But even in pitch-blackness of night, doesn’t even compare to the DARKNESS of Sin… the shroud of DEATH.  And since everyone is born into this DARKNESS [Romans 3:23; 5:12; Genesis 6:5; Psalm 51:5], our natural self-thinks that it’s normal.

But God didn’t make us be creatures of the night; rather, He wants us to be His children of the Light.  Now, this goes against our inherited nature.  We don’t want to be seen by others as naked; our hearts laid bare, our secret sins exposed, our self-imagined goodness.  We cling to artificial lights to make us feel good by our own efforts, running from the TRUE LIGHT.

BUT DARKNESS AND SELF-IMAGINED LIGHT….end in Death and Hell.  NO HOPE, NO JOY.  Only the weeping and gritting (gnashing) of teeth [Matthew 13:42].

BUT LOOK!  A STAR HAS RISEN!

And this STAR shines into the DARKNESS…THE TRUE LIGHT!

This Star has worked a marvelous change in you and me–that worked a NEW BIRTH in us– A REBIRTH!  We who had been born children of darkness, we were reborn:

John 1:13 (The MESSAGE Bible)

“The Life-Light was the real thing.  Every person entering Life, he brings into Light.  He was in the world, the world was there through him, and yet the world didn’t even notice.  He came to his own people, but they didn’t want him.  But whoever did want him, who believed he was who he claimed and would do what he said, He made to be their true selves, their child-of-God selves.  These are the God-begotten, not blood-begotten, not flesh-begotten, not sex-begotten.”

SO THIS STAR brings you and me HOPE!

He has shattered the DARKNESS OF SIN, bring the LIGHT of forgiveness.  Thar was God’s Way to save you and me, namely to send His Son into our DARKNESS, so that He took our guilt upon Himself and died in our place as the SACRIFICE for our sin, and so ransomed us with His blood.

How far above our ways!  God’s Way doesn’t fail!

His Way Prevails!

COMFORT comes with this Prophecy when it talks about the SCEPTOR.

God’s Way will not fail, for that STAR who shines into the darkness to SAVE US, is the SCEPTOR.  He, JESUS, is the KING who has redeemed us to be His people.

HE IS YOUR KING…for He ransomed YOU with His blood!

He carries the SCEPTOR, for He has conquered SIN, Satan, and Death for you, risen from the grave in Victory and Glory for you.

He carries the SCEPTOR, for He is the Almighty God and He reigns over all at the Father’s right hand.

I thought about that for a minute.  Think of it when said and done.  When a foreign King. a pagan Sorcerer plotted to undermine God’s plan for His people, the LORD used a dumb donkey to set things right.  GOD’S WAY DOESN’T FAIL!

He even used that pagan sorcerer to speak a wonderful promise of the Savior.  A PROMISE that stirs HOPE in our hearts still today…each and every day of the year.

So whatever you are facing right now, whatever the circumstance you find yourself in, look to the STAR in the manger. see His Scepter, follow Him in HOPE!

“The peace of God that surpasses all understanding

keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”  Amen.

Philippians 4:7

 

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You might enjoy this Music Video at the end of this Blog-Post from YouTube:  A STAR IS BORN!  “Mary Did You Know?”

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CREDITS –

Photos:  Google Image Search – Settings, Advance search.

Bible Translations:  New International Version (NIV), unless stated in the text.

“Is it really you?”

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I want to begin this blog-POST with a story of a businessman and attorney by the name of H.G. Spafford.  He was a wealthy lawyer with a thriving legal practice, a beautiful home, a wife and four daughters and a son.  He was also a devout Christian and faithful student of the Scriptures [a man after my own heart].

At the very height of his financial and professional success, Horatio and his wife Ana, suffered a tragic loss of their son.  Shortly thereafter, on October 8, 1871, the Great Chicago Fire destroyed almost every real estate investment that Mr. Spafford had.

In 1873, Horatio scheduled a boat trip to Europe in order to give his wife and daughters a much-needed vacation and time to recover from the family tragedy.

He also decided to join Dwight L. Moody and Ira Sankey on an evangelistic campaign in England.  So he sent his wife and daughters ahead of him while he remained in Chicago, taking care of some unexpected last-minute business.

Several days later he received notice that his family’s boat had encountered a collision.  The note read, “SAVED ALONE.”  All four of his daughters drowned, only his wife had survived.

The H.G. Spafford’s story, I believe, parallels the story in Scripture; the story of NAOMI found in the Book of Ruth.

Naomi was a pleasant woman.  In fact, that was the meaning of her name.

She was well-loved, and a woman who other women admired.  She was well-known in her community, and recognizable by her cheerful attitude.

But a FAMINE came upon the land.

Her husband, feeling the responsibility for his family’s welfare, decided to uproot them and move them to a more prosperous location instead of depending on God to see them through.

Sometimes, we husband’s have found ourselves in a “FAMINE” of a different sort. A reduction  in income, an unexpected loss of employment [been there] and we decide to figure it all out by ourselves!  [done that before!]

So Naomi said her goodbyes to her BFF’s (best friends forever) and, along with her 2 sons, did what wives do today [my wife can testify to this], followed her husband to a far and distant land [In my case, from San Diego, California to the State of Washington.]  In this case, it was Moab.

Wives, have you ever found yourselves in a MOAB destination?  Well, maybe not Moab.

Her husband’s choice of location was not soundly made.www-St-Takla-org--Bible-Slides-ruth-687  

MOAB was a land settled by the descendants of Lot.  Although relatives of Abraham, they were not part of the “promised people” of God, the Israelites.

Moab was to be placed under a CURSE for their idol worship.

Isaiah 25:10 Amplified Bible (AMP):

For the hand of the Lord shall rest on this Mount [Zion], and Moab shall be threshed and trodden down in his place as straw is trodden down in the [filthy] water of a [primitive] cesspit.

Elimelech had left the land of BLESSING for the land that would be trampled on.

After some time there, he died and Naomi was left with her 2 sons and later, married Moabite women, which was not acceptable to God.

Deuteronomy 23:3 (AMP):

An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord; even to their tenth generation their descendants shall not enter into the assembly of the Lord forever.

After 10 years both her sons died, leaving her with 2 daughter-in-laws.  She must have felt alone.

Then the GOOD NEWS reached Naomi–the FAMINE had ended!

So, Naomi and her 2 daughter-in-laws packed to leave and to return to her homeland.  But as they traveled toward Judah (some 40-50 miles), she decided to send them back.  She thanked them for their loving kindness, she blessed them, she kissed them goodbye, and she wept with them.

At first, they both refused, but after some sound discussion…she convinced one to leave.  The other clung tightly to her.  This one was RUTH.

When Naomi saw Ruth’s determination she allowed her to go.

The Homecoming!

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I love Homecomings;  School Homecomings, Family Homecomings, past-attended Churches’ Homecomings!

Ruth 1:19-20 The Message (MSG):

[19] When they arrived in Bethlehem the whole town was soon buzzing: “Is this really our Naomi? And after all this time!”

[20] But she said, “Don’t call me Naomi; call me Bitter. The Strong One has dealt me a bitter blow.”

I find it somewhat interesting in this story that the entire town is excited about Naomi’s return.  It had been more than 10 years since she left, but that pleasant, cheerful, smiling woman was not forgotten.

Now here she is and they can’t believe it.  “Is it really you?”

But maybe they ask because there’s something different about her.  Maybe the smile has been replaced with a frown.  Maybe they sense a coldness in her they have never seen before.  The circumstances and the years have changed her–she has become “bitter.”

What lead her to this noticeable place of bitterness?  At certain times in our lives, how can we arrive at the same destination?

Personally, and unfortunately at times, I have found myself alone on the Island of Bitterness.

The symptoms may not be obvious at first, but they are there.  Withdrawing from those around you.  Becoming indifferent to the problems of others.  Thinking of only yourself.

Naomi only concentrated on her loss.  She gave no thought to Ruth who had loss of her husband to death with no children to comfort her.

Naomi blamed God for the acts of her husband.

She in her faithfulness, followed her husband to a foreign land:  “God made me bitter.  God brought me home empty.  God caused me to suffer.  God has sent tragedy on me.”  (v. 21)

But it wasn’t God who sent her to a land where she would lose everything, where she would suffer, where tragedy would strike.  It was the CIRCUMSTANCES of Life that did so.  What she didn’t give credence to was her statement she made,  “but the LORD has brought me home.”

God’s GRACE in our lives is such a blessing in the midst of our CIRCUMSTANCES.

Jesus’ half-brother James writes “Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations”  (James 1:2 AMP).   

Note, he doesn’t say be “wholly joyful FOR, but “wholly joyful IN” your circumstances.  That’s God’s GRACE at work in your life through your spirit.

Jesus said “In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]!  For I have overcome the world…”  (John 16:33).

Through His GRACE He has given us the COMFORT OF KNOWING in all trials and sorrows that we will become VICTORS.

God protected Naomi by giving her a loving companion in the form of RUTH.  But in her bitterness she rejected His GRACE.

In doing so, she also rejected His PEACE.  She couldn’t see beyond her BITTERNESS to the possibilities of God’s plan for her life.

During my detective investigation into God’s word, I couldn’t help think of the words of Job in Scripture:

“Whereas another man dies in bitterness of soul and never tastes of pleasure or good fortune”  (Job 21:25).

BITTERNESS erases all the good times that you had in your life.  

NAOMI had forgotten her friends’ loyalty and love, although, they in turn had clung to those wonderful memories of past years that God had so richly BLESSED.

She couldn’t remember the dedication of a daughter-in-law that wouldn’t let her suffer alone.  All she focused on was her “bitter poverty.”

Naomi could have been siting and questioning God right alongside of Job when he said  “I AM weary of my life and loathe it!  I will give free expression to my complaint; I will speak in the bitterness of my soul”  (Job 10:1).

She wasn’t REJOICING in her returning home.  

Others were happy to see her, but she was disgusted with her life and felt like it was her duty to COMPLAIN.

Did you know that God is in the name changing business?  That’s what “Whitestone” ministry is founded on– “helping others discover their victory and true identity in Jesus”.

God changed ABRAM (high father) to ABRAHAM (the father of many nations).  He changed JACOB (the deceiver) to ISRAEL (God contended) and SIMON (God heard) to PETER (rock).

But here, we find a person changing who God has called them to be, to a name reflecting their own self-pity; from”pleasant” to “bitter”.

H. G. Spafford could have gone down the path of bitterness.

He could have been bitter in losing his wealth and his daughters.  He could have tried to get even with the owners of the French steamer by filing a lawsuit.  He could have got mad at God and shook his fist at Him in defiance and all of the above, together!

Instead, at the very place where he lost his daughters on the open sea, Mr. Spafford wrote a song.  The words are as follows:

“When peace, like a river, attendeth my way;

When sorrows like sea billows roll;

Whatever my lot,  Thou has taught me to say,

It is well, it is well, with my soul.

It is well, with my soul.

It is well, it is well, with my soul.”

IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL
IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL

 

 


CREDITS:

H. G. Spafford Story:  Share faith – It Is Well With My Soul, the Song and the Story.

PHOTOS:  Google Image Search.

Bible Translations:  Amplified Bible (AMP), except where noted.

Commentary:  Jesus plus nothing,  A Bible Study:  Book of Ruth Chapter 1 “Counting the Cost{” by I. Gordon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The “MEAL” Makes the Difference

SCRIPTURE PASSAGE:  2 KINGS 4:38-41 The Message Bible (MSG)

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[38] Elisha went back down to Gilgal.  There was a famine there.  While he was consulting with the guild of prophets, he told his servant  “Put a large pot on the fire and cook up some stew for the prophets.

[38-40] One of the men went out into the field to get some herbs; he came across a wild vine and picked gourds from it, filling his gunny sack.  He brought them back, sliced them up, and put them in the stew, even though no one knew what kind of plant it was.  The stew was served up for the men to eat.  They started to eat and then exclaimed,  “Death is in the pot, O man of God!”  Nobody could eat it.

Elisha ordered,  “Get me some meal.”  Then he sprinkled it into the stew pot.

[41]  “Now serve it up to the men,” he said.  They ate it, and it was just fine–nothing wrong with that stew!

A SIMPLE BIBLE MESSAGE PRESENTED WITH THREE MAIN POINTS –

#1.  There is a FAMINE in the land.

#2.  Beware of POISONOUS STEW, and

#3.  The REMEDY if you are consumed by poisonous stew or bitter water.

There are two remedies found in the word for bitter things:

#1.  The Cross, 

#2.  The Word of God.

When there is DEATH in the pot, and the water is undesirable to drink, God has a CURE for us.

I want you to look at this passage of Scripture in the OT, where the Prophets literally had a poisonous stew, and how Elisha the prophet remedied the situation.

From the Literal Story, Spiritual Application Can Be found –

Sometimes words and deeds can be spoken to us and done to us that if not dealt with can produce negative consequences.

Keeping things in context, Elisha was in the presence of fellow prophets in Gilgal, which could be identified today, a church meeting.  They were learning from Elisha about the POWER of God.

There Was FAMINE In The Land –

Famine was often seen as a sign of JUDGMENT in the OT, where in Ezekiel 36:29 God says:

[29] I will save you from all your uncleanness. I will call for grain and make it plentiful and will not bring famine on you.  (NIV)

It can also be seen in the CURSES found in Deuteronomy 28:23-24:

[23] The heavens over your head shall be brass and the earth under you shall be iron.  [24] The Lord shall make the rain of your land powdered soil and dust; from the heavens it shall come down upon you until you are destroyed.  (AMP)

The physical reflects the spiritual as seen in Amos 8:11:

[11] Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord God, when I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but [a famine] for hearing the words of the Lord.  (AMP)

We are living in a society where the Word of God is scarce, even in the Church.  So it becomes our responsibility to SHARE what God has given us in the Bible.  This is the reason why I write a weekly Blog, sharing the Good News and as a constant reminder, I have a bible verse framed above my office desk:  Romans 10:15 ~

“How beautiful are the feet of messengers

who bring good news!”

FAMINE can be caused by materialism, scepticism (generally from others, even things we call ‘friends,’ for church, for God); the pursuit of those things that God hates from the lack of concern in reaching out to others with the LOVE of God.

The Community Stew in the Midst of Famine –

Lots of people contributed some things that were quite healthy and some things that were quite poisonous.

What I’m getting at here–there is a part of your personality that is just like the community stew and people are throwing things in the pot of who you are all the time.

Proverbs 4:23 reads,  “Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life.”  (AMP)

GUARD YOUR HEART
GUARD YOUR HEART

There is a certain amount of diligence required to being sure that poisonous and ruinous thoughts and ideas don’t take hold on our inner man.

Every word you hear, everything you see, every idea someone expresses is an attempt to contaminate (put something into) the STEW of who you are.  And sometimes, the words we say to ourselves are more dangerous than the words others say to us.  Everything that happens to us, we want to put our own spin on it, categorize it, and put it into the STEW of who we are.

The Amazing Life of Moses –

Moses was a Jew, raised by Pharoah.  At 40 years old, he reconnects with his people.  One day, Moses sees an Egyptian beating a Jew mercilessly and he attacks and kills the man.  The authorities find out about what Moses has done and Moses flees into the desert wilderness…for 40 years!

He went from the PALACE to the DESERT.

Moses marries and has two children, GERSHON, and ELIEZER.  Gershon is Moses’ firstborn and his name means:  thrust out, kicked out, rejected, shut down.  Every time Moses called this boy by name, he was reminded of personal rejection, and personal failure:

“Hey, ‘thrust out’, dinner is on the table.”

Some people today are like Moses, continuously bringing up a failure or rejection.  THAT’S POISON IN YOUR STEW!

When you view your life through the lens of failures and the “what if’s…”, you will be eating a meal without nourishment and that is destructive.

Moses named his second child, “ELIEZER,” which means “God has helped me.”

Spiritually speaking, everything in our lives should be stored in our “ELIEZER FILE”, because the Bible says God causes ‘some’ THINGS–no, “ALL THINGS” to work together for good (Romans 8:28).

If we don’t learn to categorize life events through the lens of the Word of God, we can become very miserable and a depressed person.

Whatsoever is pure, Whatsoever is lovely… (Philippians 4:8).

How To Deal With Poison That May Be In Your Pot –

In this biblical account, Elisha is told the STEW IS POISONOUS and the remedy he prescribes is to throw some MEAL into the pot.

And that is what they did, and the CURE was effected.

MEAL has no known power.  Starch does have the ability to mitigate certain bitterness and acidity in foods, so it’s quite possible that this ingredient actually “fixed the problem”  [ Biblical Hermeneutics ].

But to change the NATURE OF THE STEW required a miracle of God!

There is got to be a spiritual lesson here.  Similar incidents of Jews wonderings in the desert wilderness came to my mind:

Exodus 15:23:  When they came to Marah, they could not drink its water because it was bitter.

Exodus 15:24:  So the people grumbled against Moses, saying, “What are we to drink?”

Exodus 15:25:  Then Moses cried out to the LORD, and the LORD showed him a piece of wood.  He threw it into the water, and the water became sweet.

The water supply was contaminated, much like THE POT OF STEW in 2 Kings.

In 2 Kings there was DEATH in the pot, and in Exodus 15, the situation was very similar, for undrinkable water in the desert is a death sentence.

Moses prays and God shows him a tree, which when cast into the waters made sweet and they were able to safely drink.

Now looking back to the passage from a Christian perspective, we can see that God is implying that THE CROSS can make a bitter life sweet again!  That’s not a big stretch.

Going back to 2 Kings, the REMEDY for DEATH IN THE POT IS “MEAL”

MEAL is flour, the basic ingredient for BREAD.

how-to-feed-your-faithBREAD is the common metaphor for the WORD OF GOD (John 6:22-71).  

And, the Word of God is a strong testing agent to counteract all the negative thoughts and ideas placed inside of us.

Sure makes me hungry!

WARNING:  Being Careful What We Put In The Stew Pot– what you let others throw in the pot!

  • Are you living with Gershom–“thrust out”?
  • Or Eliezer– God of the right hand?
  • Have you been allowing the enemy, Satan, put bitter gourds into the STEW of who you are in Christ Jesus?

We all need to ask God to help us FILTER all of life’s events through the MEAL of the WORD for it really does make a difference.

 


BLOG CREDITS:

Bible Names – Moses’ Sons:  http://www.biblestudytools.com/search/?g=gershom&s=References.

Bible Translations:  Amplified Bible (AMP), except where noted.

Photos:  Google Image Search.

Debt Slavery or Debt Freedom? Some Answers

Is it wrong to be in debt? 

That depends on the way it’s used.  Is “fire” wrong?  That also depends on the way it’s used.  

Matthew 25:15-30 [READ] shows an intelligent use of debt.

Unwisely use of debt is “bondage”. You can’t let greed guide your borrowing or let selfishness guide your borrowing money.

Let me start you out with this experiment before continuing what I was to uncover on being in debt, getting out of debt and staying free from debt. 

List every bill you owe by writing them down on a piece of paper. To write across the paper boldly with these two words:  DEBT FREE!

Everything hangs on LOVE:

Romans 13, Verse 8  “Keep out of debt and owe no man anything, except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor [who practices loving others] has fulfilled the Law [relating to one’s fellowmen, meeting all its requirements].” 

Verse 8 isn’t about finances; make sure you don’t owe anyone LOVE.

Debt Slavery:

“Debt is dumb. Most normal people are just plain broke because they are in debt up to their eyeballs with no hope of help.

If you’re in debt, then you’re a SLAVE because you do not have the FREEDOM to use your money to help change your family tree.”  –by Dave Ramsey

When I refer to Debt Slavery, I am referring to excessive debt; excessive debt is “surety”.  Surety is a situation of being in debt without a sure way to repay. 

Proverbs 22: 7 says it this way:  “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is a servant to the lender.”  Debt limits Godly opportunity in your life.

My Personal Story–

Dianne and I were married in 1964.  I had been employed with the same company for over five years and felt that stability was in place to get married; to start a family right away. My wife had been brought up in a family where they paid for things with cash; no credit cards, no check writing, just cash.  Her folks never discussed finances openly, so she knew nothing about budgeting our income.

On the other hand, I came from a family that lived paycheck to paycheck. If we didn’t have the money to spend on a vacation, a new car or any luxury items, my mom was an expert in budgeting and knowing how to “Rob Peter to pay Paul”; and she always paid Peter back.

Shortly after we were married, my mom cornered Dianne at their house one night and asked her, “Do you know how, as anyone explained to you how to budget your household expenses?”  It caught her by surprise, because she figured if you had cash — you bought and paid for it right there! God bless my mom. 

To this day, Dianne says she will never forget the day mom sat at the kitchen table and explained how family finances work in a practical, organized system. 

Six months later, I was let go from my job and was unemployed for over six months.  We now had a baby, furniture, car payment, rent, utilities, food, etc., etc..  Here is where Budgeting 101 was put to use…everyday! 

Almost 47 years later, after raising three children, no mortgage, no car payments, etc., etc., we are still using and living by mom’s budget instruction manual and it still works.

TURN TO  the Letter of James 1:1-4  Amplified Version:

JAMES, A servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes scattered abroad [among the Gentiles in the dispersion]: Greetings (rejoice)! 

Getting out of DEBT and KEEPING OUT OF DEBT:  “Debt Freedom” 

Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations.  Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience.  But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be a [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing.

Psalm 37:21, 22  “The wicked borrow and pay not again [for they may be unable], BUT the [uncompromisingly] righteous deal kindly and give [for they are able].  For such as are blessed of God shall [in the end] inherit the earth, BUT they that are cursed of Him shall be cut off.”

THE “BLESSING” and a “CURSE”:

The first thing and the last thing man will hear is, “Be blessed, be fruitful and multiply”.  What is The Blessing? It’s an empowerment from God for you to succeed in your health, your longevity, your marriage, even your finances.

A Curse is an empowerment to fail in your health, your longevity, your marriage and your financial security.

Deuteronomy 28 is the chapter to re-read on “BLESSINGS” and “CURSES”.  Deuteronomy 28:58, 59 says, If you will not be watchful to do all the words of this law that are written in this book [the Word of God], that you may [reverently] fear this glorious and fearful name [and presence] — THE LORD YOUR GOD — Then the Lord will bring upon you and your descendants extraordinary strokes and blows…” 

Don’t block the BLESSING with your DEBT!

GOD is your SOURCE:

Proverbs 8:20, 21  “I  [Wisdom] walk in the way of righteousness (moral and spiritual rectitude in every area and relation), in the midst of the paths of justice.  That I may cause those who love me to inherit [true] riches and that I may fill their treasuries.”

2 Corinthians 9:8  “And God is able to make all grace (every favor and earthly blessing) come to you in abundance, so that you may always and under all circumstances and whatever the need be self-sufficient [possessing enough to require no aid or support and furnish in abundance for every good work and charitable donation].”

Philippians 4:19  “And my God will liberally supply (fill to the full) your every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”

Remember what James 1:2, 3, says about trials and temptations, and believe me when I say, being in debt can be started by temptations that will lead to trials.  And when you give in to those various temptations, you will eventually have to “pay Peter back what you robbed him of”. 

Learning to be “Content”:

Hebrews 13:5 says,  “Let your character or moral disposition BE FREE from LOVE OF MONEY [including greed, jealousy of others, lust, and craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support, [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)!  [Assuredly not!]  [Josh. 1:5]”

It is a worthwhile saying to remember “contentment” in your temptation.

To be “wholly joyful in” not be “wholly joyful FOR” your trials; to “have”, not “have not” when you’re facing a trial of “Debt Slavery”.

Contentment means to, “use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without”.

Seeking Godly Counsel:

“A person needing financial advice should not go to someone who makes his living selling the very thing he’s contemplating buying.”

Psalm 1:1  “BLESSED (HAPPY, fortunate, prosperous, and enviable) is the man who walks and lives not in the counsel of the ungodly [following their advice, their plans and purposes], nor stands [submissive and inactive] in the path where sinners walk, nor sits down [to relax and rest] where the scornful [and the mockers] gather.”

Proverbs 15:22  “Where there is no counsel, purposes are frustrated, BUT with many counselors they are accomplished.”

The “Debt Slavery or Debt Freedom” question has an obvious answer;  “Give me Freedom from Debt”. 

I have given you just a few WORDS from God’s Word in what you can do to get free and stay free from DEBT.  I want to leave you with 10-Biblical Principles by George Fooshee and what my family has used as a practical way of staying in Debt Freedom:

1.  God is your source.

2.  Give first [Proverbs 3:9, 10; II Cor. 9:6-10].

3.  Live on a margin. (write out your income and expenses; stick to the budget!)

4.  Save money [Prov. 21:20; 22:3]. Have something, like $25.00 automatically taken out of you paycheck to savings.

5.  Keep out of debt.

6.  Be content with what you have.

7.  Keep records of your spending. (Even a small business can’t stay in business without keeping records).

8.  Don’t co-sign.

9.  Work hard.

10.  Seek Godly counsel.