We want our fast food within 5 minutes or less in the drive-thru. We want to make quick money for as little work as possible. We drive fast cars so we can get to our destination sooner. We are first in line for the newest technology gadget the day it is released. Can’t wait…gotta have it.
This “Have It Now” culture has also skewed our reasoning ability, in that it has masterfully helped us change our “wants” into “needs.”
We no longer want the new bass boat – it is a need.
We no longer want the week-long cruise to Bermuda – it is a need.
We no longer want the $5,000 Hall of Fame rookie card – it is a need.
We no longer want…(fill in yours here)…it is a need.
Borrow Money to Get What We Want
Think through all of your major purchases in the past year. How many of them would truly be classified as “needs?”
Put these two things together – getting what we want quickly and “wants vs. needs” – and a real problem begins to arise for most everyone in society. We don’t have the money to pay for these items!
We can’t resist the lure of the purchase. So we have to find a way to get it. Lucky for us the “Have It Now” culture knew this would be a dilemma. So it created a special financial system that would allow us to get borrow money up front to buy our precious item and then pay the system back over time. They called it “Getting a Loan.” I’ll just borrow money. What a cool concept! Then I can have what I want…oh…I mean need.
Why can’t we recognize the difference between a want and a need? What has happened to the concept of saving in advance until you could afford it? Better yet, whatever happened to relying on God to meet your needs? Interesting that we have reached this point in our thinking.
God’s Blessing On Israel
God told the Israelites He would provide for them. Deuteronomy 15:6 states,
- “For the Lord your God will bless you just as He promised you; you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow; you shall reign over many nations, but they shall not reign over you.”
And again he tells them in Deuteronomy 28:11-12,
- “And the Lord will grant you plenty of goods, in the fruit of your body, in the increase of your livestock, and in the produce of your ground, in the land of which the Lord swore to your fathers to give you. The Lord will open to you His good treasure, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season, and to bless all the work of your hand. You shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow.”
Notice what God was going to do for Israel:
- He would follow through with His promise to bless them.
- They would have plenty of goods to meet their needs.
- Their livestock would increase and their ground produce food.
- His fine and excellent treasures would be bestowed on them.
- God would send the rain at the appropriate times of each season.
- All the works of their hand would be blessed.
So they were to rely on God to meet their needs. He was going to provide for them. And if you read on, it becomes clear that God did not want them going to an outside source because at the end of each of the above verses He says, “You shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow.”
The Lender Holds the Power
God did not want another nation to hold power over His people. He didn’t want another nation telling Israel what to do. Think of the impact on their culture if Israel decided to borrow money from their neighbors instead of relying on God to meet their needs. The other nations would have been able to dictate Israel’s terms of financial repayment.
They could have bargained for any form of repayment for their loan. “We will lend you money if you repay us…with 10% interest; …by letting us marry your daughters; …by giving us 1/5th of your crop each year; …enlisting your sons in our army for five years; …if Israel is allowed to worship our gods as well.”
I listed some outrageous repayment terms to make a point. You can see how the lender in all situations holds the power to control the borrower. God did not want the surrounding nations to be able to dictate the financial, spiritual, social and family lives of His people. Thus he warned them twice not to borrow. He knew the problems that would arise if they chose to take that route.
And perhaps the more important lesson is that God wants us put our ultimate trust in Him to provide for our needs. And we can rest assured that He will fulfill his promise to send the blessings when we work diligently with our hands.
Questions: What challenges have you faced because you chose to borrow money for a purchase? Do you think it’s OK to borrow money to get what you want?
Next Post: Chew On This For Awhile
Prior Post: God Places Us For a Purpose