A friend of mine, a brother in Christ, is a veteran on a very modest disability pension(<$12,000/year); he owns his tiny home yeilding an additional (virtual) income of perhaps $6000/year. Six different banks have in the past five years have "pre-aprooved" him for at least a grand total credit line of $40,000 for varying lengths of time at 0% APR. His present apr has "evolved" to a whopping 30+%. My friend, being familiar with God's Word,(cf.Isaiah 24:2) knows that the giving or taking of usury is an abomination..... he "foolishly" (his own words) figured that his thorough knowledge of statistical mathematics would enable, through his gambling systems, him to repay the huge cash advances whilst still in the 0% category.
He did quite well to start with and spent his money and most of his time volunteering with various veteran's and church organisations. More and more he became strung out on the adrenaline "rush" of gaming; he put his gambling activities first, thinking he could beat satan at his own game. You could call that an ego-trip deluxe or one HELL of a habit ! We will revisit him towards the end of this article.
Meanwhile, back in the world:
Have you noticed the wave of "cheap" credit offers all over the media and in the mail; how, along with these offers, the fed has lowered the interest ('til very lately) rates to 1950's levels ? Meanwhile most of the Fortune 500 (and their political cronies)have been downsizing, off-shoring and petro-looting the working and middle classes ! (perhaps 30-40 million abortions have a bearing on this situation blessings-wise).
From Matthew 20:2 we know that a penny was the usual day's wage for the average laborer; while either a measure of wheat or three of barley was sufficient for one person's daily bread.
Plainly and simply the Living Word of God is giving us (through His beloved disciple John)tomorrow's economic forecast !
Usury - Strong's Definition
5383 nashah (naw-shaw'); a primitive root [rather identical with 5382, in the sense of 5378]; to lend or (by reciprocity) borrow on security or interest: KJV-- creditor, exact, extortioner, lend, usurer, lend on (taker on) usury.
5382 nashah (naw-shaw'); a primitive root; to forget; figuratively, to neglect; causatively, to remit, remove: KJV-- forget, deprive, exact.
5378 nasha' (naw-shaw'); a primitive root [perhaps identical with 5377, through the idea of imposition]; to lend on interest; by implication, to dun for debt: KJV-- X debt, exact, giver of usury. ***. nasi'. See 5387. ***. nes'uah. See 5385.
1And there was a great cry of the people, and of their wives, against their brothers the Jews.[tribe of Judah and/or residents of Judea ed.] 2For some were saying, With our sons and our daughters, we are many. let us take up grain for them, so that we may eat and live. 3 Some also were saying, We have mortgaged our fields, and our vineyards, and our houses; let us take up grain because of the famine. 4And some were saying, We have borrowed silver for the king's tax, on our fields, and our vineyards, 5yet now our flesh is like the flesh of our brothers; as their sons, so are our sons; and, behold, we are bringing our sons and our daughters into bondage, to be slaves; yea, there are some of our daughters brought into bondage. And there is no power for our hand, and our fields and our vineyards are to other men. (Green's Literal Version)
Let us examine one of many biblical "types" of today's society:
II Kings 17:7-15
7 For so it was, that the children of Israel had sinned against the LORD their God, which had brought them up out of the land of Egypt, from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and had feared other gods, 8 And walked in the statutes of the heathen, whom the LORD cast out from before the children of Israel, and of the kings of Israel, which they had made. 9 And the children of Israel did secretly those things that were not right against the LORD their God, and they built them high places in all their cities, from the tower of the watchmen to the fenced city. 10 And they set them up images and groves in every high hill, and under every green tree: 11 And there they burnt incense in all the high places, as did the heathen whom the LORD carried away before them; and wrought wicked things to provoke the LORD to anger: 12 For they served idols, whereof the LORD had said unto them, Ye shall not do this thing. 13 Yet the LORD testified against Israel, and against Judah, by all the prophets, and by all the seers, saying, Turn ye from your evil ways, and keep my commandments and my statutes, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by my servants the prophets. 14 Notwithstanding they would not hear, but hardened their necks, like to the neck of their fathers, that did not believe in the LORD their God. 15 And they rejected his statutes, and his covenant that he made with their fathers, and his testimonies which he testified against them; and they followed vanity, and became vain, and went after the heathen that were round about them, concerning whom the LORD had charged them, that they should not do like them. 16 And they left all the commandments of the LORD their God, and made them molten images, even two calves, and made a grove, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served Baal. 17 And they caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire, and used divination and enchantments, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger. (KJV)
Was it Cicero who said that those who do not learn by the mistakes of history are doomed to repeat them ?
5 A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels: 6 To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings. 7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. (KJV)
In my distant youth, there was an "eccentric" Christian hermit-like man living in a store front in a "sleezier" part of town; he was always preaching on the plasti-shekel and the aluma-shekel. He said that the aluma-shekel was to be the non precious metal coinage of the USA. In those days we still had silver copper and nickel for coinage. When pressed about the "plasti-sheckel" he said that in the future all monies would be plastic but beyond that, he had no idea of what specific form that "money" would take. This took place while silver coinage and silver certificates were still legal tender mintage.
About my in recovery gambling bro.... he has decided to avail himself of chapter 7 (bankruptcy) as he owes more than 20 grand plus 30%+ per year to the banks. he also is doing Gamblers Anon. Don't feel sorry for the banks... they have cash advance machines in every gaming establishment on earth. Next they'll put them in every crack house and abortion mill in the land.
Contrary to popular mis-quotation, the Bible tells us that "the love" of money and NOT money in and of itself "is the root of evil."(ITimothy 6:10). Such popular and deliberate misquotes are the tools of those who in their zeal to serve their master, posit a falsehood in order to get the biblically illiterate "believer" to defend a non-biblical position. Gen 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made...... without Him (The Word of Life) we are helpless against "the fiery darts" of that subtil, evil one:
John 6:54-58 54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. 58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever. (KJV)