The Bible Talks About Debt

INTRODUCTION… Borrowing has become a way of life in this nation. Businesses and government exist with debt. Most families live in some debt. Even churches have been built on debt. The results of all this are pressure, anxiety, worry, and financial problems. Many divorces stem from a financial problem. Many of the Christian’s spiritual problems are really financial problems. This is not God’s way for the Christians. The purpose of this lesson is to get a little insight on what the Bible teaches concerning the principles of finance and debt. The Bible condemns both borrowing and usury. The word “usury” means ”excessive interest paid on a debt,” from a root word meaning “to strike with the sting of a serpent, to oppress with interest on a loan.” The Old Testament laws prohibited a Jew from charging interest to another Jew, but when money was loaned to a Gentile, it was all right to charge interest. Deuteronomy 23:19-2 says, “Thou shalt not lend upon usury to thy brother; usury of money, usury of victuals, usury of any thing that is lent upon usury: Unto a stranger thou mayest lend upon usury; but unto thy brother thou shalt not lend upon usury: that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all that thou settest thine hand to in the land whither thou goest to possess it” (KJV).

20 SOUND PRINCIPLES GLEANED FROM THE BIBLE

1) Borrowing evades God’s promise to supply when there is a lack of finances. Psalm 37:7…Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass” (KJV).

2) Borrowing damages God’s reputation. Philippians 4:19…But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (KJV). We believe this verse and we claim to have faith that God will supply, yet we contradict this when we borrow and go into debt.

3) Borrowing causes family pressures. Proverbs 15:27…He that is greedy of gain troubleth his own house” (KJV). Statistics tell us that financial issues are a major cause of divorce.

4) Borrowing constitutes a judgment of God. Deuteronomy 15:5-6… “Only if thou carefully hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all these commandments which I command thee this day. For the LORD thy God blesseth thee, as he promised thee: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, but thou shalt not borrow; and thou shalt reign over many nations, but they shall not reign over thee” (KJV).

5) Borrowing presumes upon the future. James 4:13-14… “Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that’” (KJV).

6) Borrowing violates Scripture. Romans 13:8… “Pay all your debts except the debt of love for others—never finish paying that! For if you love them, you will be obeying all of God’s laws, fulfilling all his requirements” (TLB). The King James says, “Owe no man any thing.” Anything includes not only honor and tribute, but also money.

7) Borrowing puts you in bondage to the creditors. Proverbs 22:7… “The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender” (KJV). Remember the word “debt” means “to owe or be under obligation.” Note Nehemiah 5:1-6“And there was a great cry of the people and of their wives against their brethren the Jews. For there were that said, We, our sons, and our daughters, are many: therefore we take up corn for them, that we may eat, and live. Some also there were that said, We have mortgaged our lands, vineyards, and houses, that we might buy corn, because of the dearth. There were also that said, We have borrowed money for the king’s tribute, and that upon our lands and vineyards. Yet now our flesh is as the flesh of our brethren, our children as their children: and, lo, we bring into bondage our sons and our daughters to be servants, and some of our daughters are brought unto bondage already: neither is it in our power to redeem them; for other men have our lands and vineyards. And I was very angry when I heard their cry and these words.”

8) Borrowing entangles you in earthly entanglements. The word “borrow” also means “entanglement.” 2 Timothy 2:4 (KJV)… “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.” Can we really be free to serve the Lord if we have tied ourselves to earthly entanglements?

9) Borrowing causes us to evade self-examination. 1 John 3:22… “And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight” (KJV).

10) Borrowing interferes with God’s provision. 2 Chronicles 16:9… “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him” (KJV).

11) Borrowing removes barriers to things God does not want us to have. James 4:3… “You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures” (NIV).

12) Borrowing demonstrates discontentment with basics. 1 Timothy 6:6-8… “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content” (KJV). Philippians 4:11-13… “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Jesus warned us about covetousness and about worry about the things of life (Luke 12:15-34).

13) Borrowing weakens our faith in God. Matthew 6:30… “Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?” Hebrews 11:6… “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”

14) Borrowing stifles our creativity. Matthew 13:44-46… “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it” (KJV).

15) Borrowing devours God’s resources through interest payments. Luke 16:10-12… “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man’s, who shall give you that which is your own?”

16) Borrowing gives the illusion of independence. Deuteronomy 8:11, 17-18… “Beware that thou forget not the LORD they God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day . . . And thou say in thine heart, My power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this wealth. But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day” (KJV).

17) Borrowing promotes impulse buying and causes overspending… Ecclesiastes 5:10… “He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity” (KJV).

18) Borrowing excludes help from other Christians. 2 Corinthians 8:14-15… “But by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want: that there may be equality: As it is written, He that had gathered much had nothing over; and he that gathered little had no lack” (KJV).

19) Borrowing causes spiritual malnutrition. Matthew 13:22… “He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful” (KJV). Psalm 106:15… “And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul.”

20) Borrowing may require co-signing, which is condemned by Scripture… Proverbs 22:26-27… “Be not thou one of them that strike hands, or of them that are sureties for debts. If thou hast nothing to pay, why should he take away thy bed from under thee?” (KJV).

Financial prosperity does not prove our spirituality. Proverbs 10:22 says, “The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and he addeth not sorrow with it” (KJV). 1 Timothy 6:6-12 says, “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.”

Pastor George Belobaba

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