Occasionally, I’ll scan the pages of several newspapers over the Internet early in the morning (USA Today, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times and The Charlotte Observer). The news recently hasn’t been all that encouraging on the economic front:
- The jobless rate has jumped to a 14-year high.
- College campuses are experiencing the tightest belt-tightening in years (even the Ivy League ones).
- GM and Ford lost over $75 million a day in the last quarter.
- Banks are restricting credit everywhere.
- People are losing their homes at an alarming rate.
In the middle of this very challenging season, everyone seems to be making significant financial adjustments in budgets, expansion plans, capital funding, etc. It’s a major conversation point at events and board meetings. It would be difficult to find someone not directly affected!
When Jesus was concluding his 40-day fast in the wilderness, he was challenged by the devil to exercise his power to change the stones before him into bread. It made sense, the fast was over and since he had created the earth, it was within his power to command creation towards any end that he deemed necessary. But Jesus responded by quoting something out of the Pentateuch (Deuteronomy 8:3) when he said “Man shall not live by bread alone.”
The context of the original verse revolved around God’s revelation that Israel’s journey thorough the wilderness would be His opportunity to use that occasion to build a complete dependence on Him. The manna was God’s immediate answer to their dilemma, and with no options left but Him they would soon discover that every day He would show up and meet their need.
While sound financial management is always important, it’s just too easy to default to our present economic answer being the reduction of oil prices, increased consumer spending, bail-out incentives across the globe or reduced interest rates. Given the choice to grab a lifeline, let’s opt for “every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord!” (Deuteronomy 8:3). Rumor has it that shoes and clothes last longer in that economy!
“So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” -Matthew 6:31-33 (NIV)
By: Glenn Burris Jr., general supervisor