Even King Solomon with all of his wisdom knew that he couldn’t create wealth through extortion and exorbitant interest. The Spirit of God taught him that those who do so will only amass their great fortunes for it to be given the poor later on by someone else. God warned people throughout the Bible against dishonest and questionable monetary practices and against oppressing the poor.
Currently around the world there is a socialist movement called “Occupy [fill in the name of the city]” where people are crying out against the extremely wealthy and demanding a redistribution of wealth in order to equalize the playing field monetarily. These young people of today are feeling the pinch of increased costs of ordinary everyday goods like food and clothing and gasoline. However, most of these misguided youths are not out for justice to share the wealth with all people. They are really out to get what they can from others for nothing. They really don’t want to work; they want people to spoon feed them and give them all that they need.
On the other side of the coin, there is some truth in what the Occupy movement decries. Most of the lopsided wealth that exists in the world comes from exorbitant lending practices of large monetary firms likes banks and private lenders. Look at the housing market momentarily. People with little if any ability to repay huge jumbo loans were placed into McMansions on a low fixed-rate loan of about 20% of the house’s value and an adjustable rate mortgage to cover the remaining 80%. The bankers knew that in a few short years the once low adjustable rates would skyrocket to some unforgiving interest rate that would balloon up at the end.
The intention was to get people to eventually pay the higher interest rate and make more money or end up foreclosing on the property and reselling it later only to make more money in the future. Well, that plan backfired tremendously. The housing market tanked because people afforded the low-end rates for a while but couldn’t make the increased rates once the interest went up. Add to that mess the idea that people thought they could get rich quick by sucking up properties for a little of nothing and then flipping them for an astronomical value. People’s greed started to get the best of them. Bankers wanted to get rich off high interest rates while property owners wanted to get rich quick off fast turnarounds on their properties. Often times the homeowners would borrow a second or third mortgage on their property to buy others. Oh what a tangled web of deception we weave!
Now the bubble has burst on this once seemingly lucrative financial enterprise; however, the housing market continues to fall into an abyss. More and more people are foreclosing on their homes because they can’t afford their mortgages due to job loss or other misfortune. The financial industry has caused global panic over the loss of perceived income that didn’t materialize during this bubble. Governments have gotten themselves into trouble by backing these bad and toxic loans and have bought much of this waste only to have their credit hamstrung. Nation upon nation teeters on the brink of economic ruin because of greedy financiers who charged exorbitant interest rates.
So what happens to all the amassed wealth that these people/slash companies have? It doesn’t appear that the monies will go anywhere but in the hands of corrupt politicians and bankers. Thus, the Occupy movement began! I don’t condone Occupy because of their approach and stance on the issue. They don’t seek a godly solution to the problem. They just want to satisfy their lust and greed because someone with more has what they don’t have. Greed knows no boundaries: age, race, creed, religion, nationality or gender. On the other hand, this proverb does have merit. One day great hoards of wealth amassed by those charging exorbitant interest will one day make it into the hands of the poor. How do we know that? Because you came into this world with nothing, and you can’t take anything with you. From dust you came, and to dust you will return. Thus, Jesus said a man doesn’t consist of the things he owns. He also said that we should lay up treasure in heaven and buy gold tried by fire from him that moth, rust, and thief can’t destroy. Wherever you set your desires, there your heart is. If you desire temporal earthly goods, you’ll reap of the flesh, which is death. If you desire heavenly eternal reward, then you will reap life. By the way, the only eternal treasure you can take with you are the souls you lead to Jesus.
Father, help me to reach the lost whether they are rich or poor. The poor we will have with us always, and You defend them and provide for them. Help me to give more of what You’ve blessed me with that the less fortunate may have something. The greatest gift I can give anyone is sharing my witness of You, Jesus, and how You save people from sin, death, hell, and themselves. I pray for the Occupy movement people and hope they hear the message of the Good News and turn to You rather than try to destroy people who have things in this life. For the greedy money grubbers who “steal” others’ money through overcharging on interest, may they give their fortunes to the poor through someone else, as Your word declares. In Jesus’ name, Amen.