It’s painful to see the predicament our country is in. President Obama is planning a huge stimulus which he says is only one leg of a stool that may have more than three legs. I watched that and thought, “He’s not sure himself how we’ll find our way forward.”
How are those of us who are among the people of God, whether American or from other countries, to find our way? All we have to do is look to our leader. This is the message of Deut. 18:15-20. Israel was poised to enter the Promised Land, and God Himself wanted to serve as their leader. Yet the people said, “God, please, no. The sound of your voice and the fire of your presence is terrifying.” God responded, “Actually, that’s reasonable. I’ll give you Moses today, and in the future, I’ll raise up another leader like him.” Who was God referring to? Ultimately, Jesus, as the Apostle Peter confirms in Acts chapter 3, when he quotes this passage in the course of arguing to his Jewish compatriots that Jesus really was the long-promised Messiah.
In these trying economic times, which are also trying spiritual times, how important it is for the people of God to have clear leadership. For my American readers, we do, not in Barack Obama or the Republican opposition, but in Jesus himself.
What would Jesus have us do in response to this global economic crisis? First, he is calling us to live within our means. Second, he is calling us to live below our means, so that we can help others who are losing jobs all around us.
Third, he might also be calling us to urge our political leaders to stop trying to spend their way out of this crisis. We’re in this crisis because as a country we were living on an illusion of free credit. What we need to do seems clear enough to me: take our medicine. Enough already with illusions of stimulus to cover over the original illusion of credit which has now crumbled in upon itself. All we’re doing with bailouts and stimuli is throwing good money after bad. We would be far better off if we just insolvent institutions enter bankruptcy and emerge chastened and cleansed. We would also be better off if we returned to a stable money policy rather than trying to print more money to ease the pain.
The problem is not free-market capitalism, but rather the manipulation of it. The way out of this is not further manipulation, but rather a humble return to righteousness in all matters financial. Father, please grant us leaders who can understand this, live this, and implement this.