Yet You Did Not Return to Me: Economic Disaster
I recently wrote that coronavirus might be judgment from God and an opportunity to draw nearer to God. But, by my observation, most people and many Christians seem to be focused on the sins of others. Uncivil discourse on racism, LGBTQ rights, MAGA, the pandemic, abortion, cultural Marxism, and a myriad of other concerns consume our time as people trample each other in a panic of virtue signaling. Instead of examining ourselves against God’s standards, we’re promoting ourselves as righteous based on which group or cause we identify with. This is not repentance.
Lost in all this turmoil is any sense that coronavirus might be a wake-up call from God. Instead of an opportunity for individuals to repent, various groups see the pandemic as an opportunity to advance their worldly agendas.
Prosperity & Turning Away from God
Before bringing catastrophic judgment, God gets a nation’s attention in a variety of ways. A nation that turns away from God and ignores him often does so in the midst of prosperity. This is consistent with Jesus’ teaching that we cannot serve both God and money, either we will hate one and love the other or we will be devoted to one and despise the other (Matthew 6:24). In the time of the prophet Amos, the rich in the northern kingdom of Israel oppressed the poor in their quest for wealth (Amos 2:7; 4:1; 5:11; 8:4,6).
Missed Opportunities to Repent
God brought calamities upon Israel to remind them—“I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not yield my glory to another or my praise to idols” (Isaiah 42:8). He brought disaster so that they might repent.
But they did not.
After each calamity the Lord declared—“yet you did not return to me” (Amos 4:6,8,9,10,11). As a result, though God had been longsuffering, eventually Israel would be destroyed by Assyria.
The first calamity God brought upon Israel was economic disaster, which, in an agricultural economy, is expressed as draught, blight, locusts and famine (Amos 4: 6-9).
Sin reflects our desire for happiness and satisfaction apart from God. When God removes our prosperity, he thwarts our efforts to find heaven on earth and provides us with an opportunity to repent. However, a person with a rebellious and hardened heart “shakes his fist” at God and refuses to repent and draw near.
America’s Economic Sins
As did Israel in the time of Amos, the world in general, and the U.S. in particular faces economic distress. But the majority narrative that the U.S. economy was strong and our economic problems will go away when the pandemic is under control is a lie. It is strong delusion. This narrative ignores our economic sins. As long as we fail to recognize our sin, there is no chance anyone will repent.
What do I mean by economic sin? We are a debtor nation that cannot repay the debt owed to our trading partners. This is wicked (Psalm 37:21). Our lifestyle is subsidized in part by some of the poorest nations on earth. When the plunder of the poor is in your house it gets God’s attention (Isaiah 3:13-15). The pursuit of wealth dwarfs the pursuit of God as we convince ourselves that either God doesn’t exist or that we can serve both God and money. We condone an economic system that can only thrive on discontent and debt even as it demands our full allegiance. This is problematic for Christians as it leaves little time and energy to advance the Kingdom of God (Proverbs 23:4).
The Worst Is Ahead
Our economic actions have assured consequences. We reap what we sow. Record individual, corporate, national and international debt is evidence that we have lived beyond our means for decades. The party is over and the economic hangover will be the worst we’ve ever experienced. To make matters worse, U.S. monetary policy (with the Federal Reserve believing they can stave off another Great Depression by buying debt) is on a collision course with hyperinflation. If they don’t reverse course, everyone’s savings will be wiped out.
We dare not carry on as usual during these times unless we know for sure we have nothing to repent of. We do not want to hear God say of us, “Yet you did not return to me.” Our economic famine might turn into an actual famine. Furthermore, if our nation follows the pattern of Israel, we will also experience ”not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD.” Dare we think that those who desire to tear down our statues and our society will not come after Christians? When persecution arrives, will we be ready spiritually?
Still Doubtful About the Precarious State of Our Economy?
If you still hold doubts about the precarious condition of our economy, these articles explain why our economy was weak before the pandemic:
The Wizard of Odd – Trump Edition. Why debt is a problem and why our standard of living must go down in order to pay it back.
What Really Causes Inequality? Contains answers to this question that both conservatives and liberals will love and hate.
How Much Socialism Does it Take to Collapse an Economy? – Part 2 Explains why U.S. monetary policy is headed toward hyperinflation (this article is fairly technical).
The Money Changers Have Stolen From Our Future – Why We Will Have to Live on Less– Explains why the prevalent financial practice of ignoring the future to attain short term gain makes our economic prosperity unsustainable.
America’s Level of Prosperity Is Not Sustainable – Explores the implications of our trade deficit.
Feeling Repressed?– Discusses stealthy methods used to transfer your money to the government. Hint- it involves inflation.