I was reminded today by my good friend Alemu Beeftu of the story of the prophet’s widow in the fourth chapter of Second Kings. Her husband’s death left her destitute and a creditor was going to take her sons as slaves. She cried out to the prophet Elisha. Elisha responded, “Tell me what you have in your house.” The widow replied that she had nothing but a bit of oil.
Elisha told the widow to gather empty jars from her neighbors, bring them into her house with her sons, and shut the door. Then, she was to pour her bit of oil into one jar at a time. Soon every jar was filled with oil. The widow had enough oil to repay her debt, save her sons from slavery, and care for her family in the days ahead.
Being a business owner and a father of two I was especially struck by two of Alemu’s insights from this story.
“Indebtedness threatens our lives and families. Debt yokes us in unrighteous relationships with men who love mammon, not God. Such ungodly relationships can damage our faith and our testimony, leave us vulnerable, and cause destruction in our lives. But our merciful and gracious God will show us a way out of indebtedness if we seek Him with willing and obedient hearts.”
Now I don’t believe debt is a sin or that it doesn’t serve a purpose in society. It’s the rampant misuse and abuse of credit (especially credit card debt) that becomes an anchor that slows more of God’s blessings.
It’s also one of the reasons we offer churches purchasing church chairs through our Bertolini Sanctuary® Seating Division a discount to purchase with ACH / Electronic Check; we want to reward church leaders that avoid the credit card trap.
The second insight is one that really makes me think twice.
“Our children are at risk of becoming slaves. The enemy’s plan is for creditors to enslave our children. Through our generation’s debt, the enemy has access, and legal right, to the next generation. We must properly deal with our debt so our children’s future is secure.”
This insight regarding the spiritual forces of evil at work in our society makes me think it’s time, not only to get our own house in order, but also to set the stage for our kids to understand what is at stake for their futures. The time is now to keep them from starting down this path.
Stay tuned for more to come on this…