“You ask his protection, but how can you expect it if you are not agreed with him?”
--Charles Haddon Spurgeon
In one of my favorite comic strips, a boy and his father were having their typical argument over spending money. The boy expected his father to serve as his personal ATM machine; the father insisted that the boy did his chores around the house to earn his spending cash. Keep in mind that this boy went to church every Sunday with his family.
He made the classic mistake of trying to pull a Bible on his father to make his point.
The boy failed miserably.
His ignorance in the basics of the Scriptures, in trying to make his father to give him some cash without the boy working for it was astounding. The boy pulled non-biblical verses out of thin air that he claimed ‘mandated’ his father to give up the green without question. By the end of the strip we were all made painfully aware of the fact that the boy did NOT spend much time in the Bible. His ignorance was showing.
How many of us have the same ‘biblical ignorance’ when it comes to the KJV Bible we ‘claim’ to know and follow in many of our Urban churches? How many of us will pull scriptures out of our minds, but not out of the ‘old booke’ itself? If I may be so bold, how many of us can lay our hands upon a copy of the Bible, let alone point to some of the promises contained therein?
One of the things that I am trying to get across in our current social dilemma is that we need to understand the scriptures for ourselves to understand WHAT God is telling us, and WHERE God is leading us. IF one has a firm relationship with God through His son Jesus Christ, and have become a born-again baptized Believer, this is a great starting point for economic success. IF one has ‘soul success’, they will have the opportunity to have physical success to come their way.
DO YOU WANT TO IMPROVE?
A few years back, I had the privilege of preaching in an urban Church, not that far from my city. I observed a young Black brother--a drummer--who was being taught how to play and master his instrument by an older Black brother--a drummer--who was part of the church music ministry. The man was NOT the young man’s father. However, IF the young man wanted to learn how to handle the drums in a proper manner, he had to undergo training from the musician who was over that music ministry.
It was obvious that the young man wanted to learn--and wanted to improve.
How many of us want to improve our employment opportunities? Our abilities in starting and building a business? Our abilities in ‘bouncing back’ from a business or employment setback? Two things immediately come to mind. First, we have to be willing to hear and learn what God is saying. Second, we have to be willing to improve ourselves. Both of these solutions rest in two other points. One, having a firm relationship with God. Second, having a regular relationship with His Word.
LOOKING FOR LOOPHOLES:
Years ago, famed comedian W. C. Fields was reportedly ‘caught’ reading a Bible. One of his friends asked the comic: “Fields…why are YOU reading a Bible?” Fields didn’t miss a beat: “I’m looking for loopholes.”
Many of us ‘treat’ the Bible the same way. We want to ‘use’ God’s Word to try to put money in our pockets, without taking the time in getting our hearts together. We ‘think’ that we can ‘con’ God the same way that we can put on a good front for everyone else…and think that He will buy what we are selling.
The entire purpose of my doing these columns on this subject of Bible Economics is to introduce (or, for others, re-introduce) some of the concepts that USED to be taught in the home, church, school and job about money and business. How to make money, how to properly spend money, and how to build wealth—without the ‘dollar bill’ owning YOU.
There are no ‘loopholes’ with God. As a matter of fact, the Bible is very specific. God won’t allow an individual to move ahead unless and until that individual has completed the task (or tasks) that He has already brought to their attention. Further, IF one does not take care of God’s ‘to do’ list, God will put his thumb on you through a variety of means and circumstances JUST to remind you that you neglected to follow His original instructions. Pastor Adrian Rogers said it best when he remarked: “God DOES business with those who MEAN business.”
GOD DOES NOT BLESS MESS:
Moving on; do NOT expect God to bless any venture that is outside of His Word. God does NOT bless mess. God does NOT bless rebels. God does NOT bless those who won’t obey His commands, as contained in his Word--the KJV Bible--which is the version that I stand on, preach and teach. I realize that there are more than 25 other versions of the Bible out there. However, they are pale copies of the Authorized Version—the KJV.
God does NOT bless employment or companies that do harm to people, places, His church or His character. God does NOT bless any business that sells booze, illegal drugs, takes part in human trafficking or is involved in extortion, kidnapping or the drug trade. God does NOT bless entertainment that degrades or debases individuals. God is NOT in favor of the bar, tavern, abortion clinic or the wicked, the crooked, liars, sodomites, adulterers, fornicators or thieves. To take it further, God does NOT bless rioting (Exodus 23), nor any profession, business or trade which exalts the names of other gods or false/satanic practices. Lastly, God does NOT bless the Mafia, the Yakuza, Triads/Tongs, Modern Street Gangs, Motorcycle Gangs or crooked cops. Before any of these aforementioned enterprises or those involved in any of these ‘career’ choices want to make progress in the sight of God, they need to repent, resign, and get out of these ventures before it is too late.
It may cost you more than you think in the long run (Hebrews 9:27 KJV).
A HARD LESSON ON FINANCIAL DISOBEDIENCE:
In the Book of Joshua, the main character had the task of leading the nation of Israel into their first battle against the city of Jericho. God gave Joshua specific instructions on how to secure victory on His terms. God also gave Joshua specific instructions in what to do with the spoils of war…it was NOT to go to individuals, but to His treasury. Joshua repeated God’s instructions to all, word for word.
The battle took place and Jericho fell the way God had told Joshua and the Hebrews that it would. During the mopping up operations from this great victory, ONE man by the name of Achan disobeyed by stealing some of the spoil and keeping it under his tent. His sin was not revealed until a few thousand crack Hebrew troops took on the tiny land of Ai--and were slaughtered.
The forward momentum of Israel was brought to a standstill. Joshua was on his face before the Lord. He cried out for an answer as to their humiliating loss against Ai. The answer came back there was sin in the camp. Over a span of time, Achan was revealed as the offender. Achan confessed his sin and the ‘stuff’ was recovered. Achan, his family and all that he had were gathered up and taken to a ‘rock concert’. He and everyone and everything associated with his sin were stoned, burned and buried under a pile of rocks in a rather unpleasant piece of valley real estate.
The underlying financial message? What belongs to God should be given to God in the way in which God has mandated--without fail. This goes for the pulpit AND the pew. No exceptions. No excuses. God is bigger than the ‘name it and claim it; blab it and grab it’ prosperity preachers like to put forth. IF there is sin in the camp, do NOT expect forward progress FROM God until you deal with the sin which offended God.
More to come.
Mike Ramey is a Minister, Book Reviewer, P-School Ranger, Modern Street Gangs Specialist and Syndicated Columnist who lives in Indianapolis, Indiana. “The Bible Economics Line” is one of a variety of columns that Ramey has in cyberspace. To drop him a line…or a whine…the address is still the same: firstname.lastname@example.org. ©2020 Barnstorm Communications International.