The global economy has produced many benefits for the nations of the world. Through the internet, people in Africa can market products that can be purchased in Chile with the click of a mouse. On a global scale, commerce is conducted and money changes hands instantaneously between continents. We live in a world where travel between continents is common and commerce is the key. People all over the world are inter-connected and inter-dependent. Yet as we have seen in recent weeks, the economies of all nations are inter-connected, as well. Could it be that God was actually speaking of our day when he spoke to the prophet Daniel 2500 years ago? Dan 12:4 But you Daniel, keep this prophecy a secret; seal up the book until the time of the end. Many will rush here and there, and knowledge will increase. NLT
However, the catastrophic events on Wall Street of recent weeks have revealed a darker side of this inter-connectedness. These recent events have produced great anxiety among people in every nation, whether they are believers or not. When the catastrophe of Wall Street happened a few weeks ago, it produced turmoil of similar proportions in Asia, Europe, and Latin America. What does the future hold for people of an inter-connected world? Where is God is all this? Does He even involve Himself in something so "secular" as the economics of nations? Is He leaving us to experience the fruit of the greed and corruption that is so pervasive in our world? Will His servants, who are in the middle of all this like everyone else, go down with the rest of the world? These are serious questions for serious times. Allow me to submit to you some answers for your consideration.
Two Economic Realities
It is important for those of us who are to be the salt and light of the world, to understand that we live by a different system of economics. I am not denying the economic reality of what took place and its effect on people around the world. I do wish to point out the existence of another economic reality.
Many of us tend to think of the Kingdom of God as our eventual destination. Yet over and over in the scripture, Jesus told us that the Kingdom of God has come among us. That means that it is a fully functioning reality in our world today. I suggest to you that it is a system of government on the earth today with the scripture as its constitution. This Kingdom is not influenced by any other government or institution because it is ruled by a Sovereign King. This Kingdom is the most dominant spiritual and moral force in the earth. Like all governmental systems, the Kingdom of God has a system of economics. As citizens of this Kingdom, we have the opportunity to function under its economic principles and guidelines.
Let me assure you, the Sovereign Ruler of this Kingdom is not nervous about how the Asian markets will react to this current crisis. He is not anxiously hoping that the leaders who set the monetary policies of Europe and the U.S. get in sync with one another and come up with a strategy to solve the crisis. He has a strategic plan for mankind and He is on plan. God knows where we are going and He knows how we are going to get there. For us, as citizens of the Kingdom of God, it is important to recognize that though these two economic systems are present day realities, our hope, our future and our destiny is in our citizenship in the Kingdom of God. I do not wish to minimize the role of the economist in all this, but in this Kingdom, it is the apostles and prophets God has placed in our midst who will help us navigate the crises of our day. Amos 3:7 makes a declarative statement about this matter; "Surely the Lord GOD does nothing unless He reveals His secret counsel To His servants the prophets" NASU
I believe we are living in the days of Revelation Chapter 18. The Apostle John heard a voice from heaven say, "3 For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury. 4 And I heard another voice from heaven saying ,"Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. 5 For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. NKJV
These verses speak of kings, or government leaders and merchants, or leaders of commerce. Are these verses calling us to leave our jobs and start a church? No! These verses are telling us there is a system that is in direct opposition to the Kingdom of God. They are calling us to no longer participate in this system by conducting ourselves with the principles of a system that oppresses, enslaves with debt and manipulates people and markets. These verses are calling us out of this system that Chapter 18 calls Babylon but they also suggests we must move into the system God has established in His Kingdom. It is in this system of economics where you will find peace, joy, liberty and righteousness in the midst of the current economic turmoil. These are the characteristics and by-products of this Kingdom and they are yours as citizens of the Kingdom of God.
No matter what happens to the economy of your nation in the days ahead, you can rest assured that the Lord is on His throne and He has not forgotten about any of us. His concern is not only for the religious activity you may be involved in, but also for the economics of every nation. He cares about the businesses and the governments; He cares about the people. He expects us to influence policy as His representatives in each of these spheres of culture. Yet, we are in a period of history when the things we have long relied upon are being shaken and broken and the Kingdom of God is moving to center stage.
Revelation Chapter 18 is not saying that this system will be sanitized and cleaned up to be made more presentable, because this is impossible. You cannot sanitize something that is rotten at the core. This system is the polar opposite of everything the Kingdom stands for. Much of the corruption we see all over the world is a by-product of this system.
Where Is God In The Economic Chaos?
There is a growing awareness among the people of God around the world about the importance the Feasts of the Lord in Leviticus 23. A study of the history of nations and in particular the nation of Israel, reveals that dramatic events often happen during these feasts. Leviticus does not say these are the feasts of the Jews, but rather the feasts of the Lord. If they are His feasts, then we are to take heed. One such feast began at 6 pm Monday, September 29. This feast is known as Rosh Hashanah (The Feast of Trumpets), which is the beginning of a New Year on the Jewish Calendar.
Rosh Hashanah signals the beginning of the 10 Days of Awe where God's people are to examine themselves to see if there is any sin or blockage between us and God. We are to examine ourselves and repent. If there is any broken relationship that needs to be made right, this is the time. Rosh Hashanah begins with the blast of a ram's horn or the shofar known as "The Awakening Blast". This blast intended to awaken the listener from his or her "slumber" and alert them to the coming judgment. The conclusion of this season of self examination is Yom Kippur or "The Day of Atonement". On this day, the sins of the past year are confessed to the Lord and forgiveness is sought from the Lord. This season I have described sets the tone for the entire coming year. It is known as the high holy days.
On Monday, September 29, 2008 this inter-connected world knew the U.S. economy was in chaos. The economic systems of the entire world were in turmoil because of the chaos of the United States. Our government leaders were wrestling with a $700 billion dollar bailout that was supposed to temporarily solve this crisis and the U.S. Congress failed to approve the measure. The eyes of this entire, inter-connected world were focused on Wall Street's closing numbers at the end of that day, when the largest numerical drop in Wall Street history occurred, 777 points. In Scripture, the number seven is the number of perfection and holiness. Triple sevens (777) symbolize Yahweh, the Father of the Messiah. One hour later, the "Awakening Blast" was sounded to begin Rosh Hashanah.
As I write this article, we are in the Days of Awe, with the Day of Atonement coming on Wednesday, October 8. To all who are anxious about the events of our day, I want to assure you that your hope is in God. His names represent His character. One of His names is Jehovah Jireh (Lord Provider). Jehovah Jireh has not and will not change because of the turmoil of this season.
We are living in exciting times when everything is being shaken. Yet God's strategic overview for everything that is taking place is the establishment of His Kingdom. To live in the Kingdom of God, it is essential to live a King centered life. You can rest assured that no matter what happens in our world, the King has not forgotten His most precious possession, His people. Keep looking above!