A recent headline in the Wall Street Journal reads:
U.S. Inflation Rate Accelerates to a 40-Year High of 7.5%
Inflation means that the demand for items is stronger than the supply, which results in higher prices and a decreased value of the dollar.
Inflation is showing up at the gas pump, the grocery store, and even in the housing market. All across the country, there are reports of houses selling for tens of thousands of dollars above the original asking price as buyers compete to purchase a limited number of properties on the market.
The conditions causing inflation in our economy today sound a lot like the backdrop of a story in the book of II Kings, chapters six and seven. Because of a Syrian military blockade around Samaria, there was a lack of supplies and food coming into the city. The scarcity of food meant that the prices were extremely high. For example, the head of a donkey, which was normally considered unfit to eat, was sold at a premium price!
The siege led to hunger and desperation, shown clearly as two mothers agree to kill and eat their own infants. The king, unable to help his subjects, is driven to deep mourning and murderous rage as he faces his complete inability to provide food and security for them.
God is such a patient teacher. For centuries, He has been trying to show humanity that He is a loving Father who cannot fail. But time and again, we trust our own methods and get results ranging from mediocre to disastrous. To encourage us to reject our pride and independence, God often gives us instructions that seem ridiculous.
As starvation grips Samaria, four lepers sitting outside the city make the decision of a lifetime. Defying their fear of death, they walk to the camp of the army surrounding the city to beg for food. As they approach, God makes their feeble footsteps sound like thousands of advancing soldiers. Terrified, the Syrian army runs away, leaving tons of food and supplies behind.
The economic crisis in Samaria is immediately solved as the lepers report the news of their tremendous find to the king and his officials. All of a sudden, flour and barley could be sold for a few pennies. What a reversal!
The truth about inflation is that the Lord sits above the economies of the nations of the world. He is able to regulate the discrepancies between supply and demand when governments turn to Him for wisdom.
However, if heads of state and government officials are not willing to hear God’s voice, certainly we as Believers have the right and the responsibility to get instruction and wisdom from Him. The Bible is full of accounts of faithful men and women who prospered in difficulty through the counsel of the Lord.
Challenge: The stories in the Bible were written for our encouragement and as examples for us to live by. Our challenge this week is to fill our hearts with faith and hope by reading about people who thrived financially in spite of the difficult economic climates they were living in.
- Isaac – Genesis 26:1-2, 12-22
- Jacob – Genesis 30:31-11, 43
- Elijah – I Kings 17:1-16
- The Widow – II Kings 4: 1-7
- The Fishermen – Luke 5:4-7