We are experiencing an historic time which will be referred to in future years. What we don’t know yet is just how deep this crash is and the extent of the fallout which will come from it. What we do know is that markets are reeling and multiplied millions of people have already been affected.
Banks have been nationalised. Millions of people have lost their homes. Billions of dollars of stock value has disappeared in days. Fortunes have been lost and won. International summits have been called. Moments of hope have been established, only to be demolished by the next wave of bad news.
You’ll be able to tell your grandchildren you went through the Crash of 2008!
The Big Question
The big question that people want answered is, “What is really going on?” Is this the end of the world or just a bump along the road to progress? Will everything right itself or will the carnage continue?
To help you understand what is going on I have pulled together a list of factors that have contributed to our current situation.
Greed or the Love of Money gives people a willingness to put all at risk in order to get a profit. And greed is a big part of the operation of modern markets, whatever people are dealing with.
Back in the days of the South Sea Bubble the Poet Alexander Pope pointed to greed as a key factor in the huge losses of his day. He said of the South Sea debacle – “See Britain sunk in Lucre’s sordid charms”. By this he saw that it was the lust for “lucre” (money) that had dragged Britain into the quagmire of terrible losses.
The Apostle Paul taught that the “love of money” is the root of all evil – 1Timothy 6:10. Christians must be free from the desire for “greedy gain” (filthy lucre) 1Timothy 3:3,8, Titus 1:7,11, 1Peter 5:2.
I have often heard it noted that our present financial systems are dominated by Greed and Fear. These emotions dominate our markets and most financial decisions.
So greed is clearly one of the culprits in our present situation. If the world’s finances were to move to a better footing they would be based on the use of money for noble purposes, not to indulge people’s greedy ambitions.
International Power Brokers
There are people with sufficient financial power to control what happens to the rest of us. A number of the financial busts that have happened over the centuries have been created by financial manipulators.
It is claimed that one crash in the USA was planned four years in advance, so the bankers could buy farming land from bankrupted farmers. For those who want to get some idea of the history of international financiers acting as power brokers check out the Money Masters videos on YouTube.
Orchestrated Financial Machinations can enable those in control to gain the wealth and assets of others. For example, one strategy could be to allow people to make money and start new industries, then create a bust so you can buy the proven winners cheaply, then allow another boom, so you get the profit from other people’s innovation and hard work.
If people have borrowed money then they can be trapped into having to sell their asset to pay their debts. Thus their assets get taken off them.
In the present situation we will probably never know the extent to which the problems have been orchestrated by high-level power players. It is safe to say, however, that it is likely that people of power and influence have been active in the markets, steering things to their advantage when they can.
God is bigger than all the banks and governments in the world. When God brings judgement on a people or nation those being judged will suffer all kinds of negative things.
The Bible reveals how God brought enemies, famine, diseases and trouble upon the nation of Israel and other nations. God even prophesied in advance that those things were going to happen.
God also promises that if His people humble themselves and pray He will “heal their land”. “If my people, which are called by my name, will humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 2Chronicles 7:14
I am confident that God is at work in this present situation. I also believe that if God’s people will humble themselves and get right with God then further upheaval can be averted. I rather suspect, however, that we are heading down a rough road and people will persist in their rebellion for a while longer.
Sin has a Part to Play
The Bible says that sin is a reproach to a nation.
“Righteousness exalts a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.” Proverbs 14:34
God promises to curse people who reject Him, with famine and financial loss. See Deuteronomy 28 for the extensive discussion of blessings and curses on those who respond differently to God’s Word.
When nations give themselves over to selfishness and sin they bring problems and calamity onto themselves. The selfish determination to live as we please is sin, and God has every right to judge us for such defiance of His claim upon our lives.
Mammon is Ruling the Nations
Jesus said we either worship God or Mammon. Mammon is the desire for gain and the elevation of material wellbeing and self-interest over our willingness to worship God.
I have pointed out in other places that western culture is given over to the worship of Mammon. Instead of living for God and glorifying Him whole nations are living for self and glorifying themselves.
God says “Love Your Neighbour”, and Mammon says “Exploit Your Neighbour”. God says “Trust Me and I Will Bless You”, but Mammon says “Serve Me and I Will Bless You”.
Western Culture and much of the world are ruled by the desire for gain, not the willingness to bless others.
What is Going On?
What is going on is that we are reaping what we have sown. Greed, Power Games, Sin and Mammon worship have set us up for God’s response. God is intent on having us worship Him, as is our responsibility, since He gave us life and everything in it.
So the next concern we have to think about is, “What is God doing in all of this?” That is what I will take up with you when we come to the third instalment in this discussion.