I know that the LORD is great,
that our Lord is greater than all gods.
The LORD does whatever pleases
in the heavens and on the earth,
in the seas and all their depths. Psalm
The last two weeks have seen wild swings in the financial
markets; unsettled, even panicked, responses from government leaders; and
anxiety regarding personal finances. As far as the public media is concerned,
uncertainty rules. What’s next? The media answer is that no one knows. The
Bible’s answer is that God knows. Nothing that has happened these last few
weeks with the global financial markets has been a surprise to God. The God of
the Bible does not take coffee breaks. As Psalm 135 says, God does what pleases
him. As with the floods, earthquakes and storms of the past year, the financial
tumult is a reminder that God and not man is in control.
Many have placed their trust in monetary investments. For
years advertisements have urged people to invest in order to have a financially
secure future. Now, many of these investments have been significantly eroded,
if not washed away altogether. So what do you tell your children about the
economic confusion and growing anxiety? The place to start is the unchangeable
goodness of God to his people. Psalm 135:14-18 has some interesting comments
about where people place their trust.
For the LORD will vindicate his people
and have compassion on his servants.
The idols of the nations are silver and gold,
made by the hands of men.
They have mouths, but cannot speak,
eyes, but they cannot see;
they have ears, but cannot hear,
nor is there breath in their mouths.
Those who make them will be like them,
and so will all who trust in them.
God will vindicate his people; he will have compassion for
those who love him. The financial
instrubments of Wall Street are incapable of compassion. Ultimately, they can bring no more comfort
than the idols of silver and gold referenced in Psalm 135. Financial
investments have become idols to many. These investments have no life of their
own. They promise security, but they cannot provide hope. These financial
investments claim to offer the fulfillment of dreams, yet they could not see
the abrupt crash of these last weeks. These financial instruments are incapable
of bringing hope and stability. As we have seen, the hope they offer can be
gone in one day’s trading. There is a chilling warning in the 18th
verse of this psalm. Trusting in these financial idols will leave you
speechless. I realize the idols talked about in this psalm are the gods of the
nations in Bible times. But in the 21st century these financial
idols have taken the place of the Baals and Ishtars.
So what do you tell your children about the turmoil? You
tell them what this psalm teaches about God. You proclaim to them that God is
great! This is the one true constant in life. The stock market will ebb and
flow. But God, whose word is worth more than thousands of pieces of silver and
gold, remains constant and unmoved by the worries of men and markets. Do not
let your mood mirror the roller coaster charts of the markets. You know that
your God is great. This is a time to be thankful for true riches.