Friday, October 3, 2008

Economic crisis, leadership, and prophecy

Economic crisis, leadership, and prophecy
By Wallace G. Smith
Thursday, October 02, 2008

The ongoing economic drama playing out in America is fascinating, but only in the way that one might find a train wreck fascinating.

On our television screens we see politicians who supported allowing families who were not credit worthy to get large loans, who supported light regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and who turned a blind eye to the outrageous compensation given to the executives of those companies. Only now we see those politicians lamenting the credit crisis, crying out for more regulation, and complaining about outrageous compensation given to executives.

On the other side of the aisle, we see the same politicians who were bragging a few years ago that the financial boom America was experiencing – was due to their policies and approach to free market systems, now wringing their hands at a problem that is just as related to their policies and approach as the boom was.

Everyone is busy pointing fingers at others while conveniently forgetting (at least publicly) his or her own sordid role in causing the current mess.

And while pointing out corporate greed is quite popular these days (though various shades of it didn’t seem to be a problem to either party just a few years ago), no one seems to have the nerve to tell the American public that our own willingness to borrow insanely over the last few years – agreeing to mortgages of 110% of the home value, for example – is a part of the problem. Perhaps partly because our politicians want debt-addicted voters to like them come election day, and also, perhaps, partly because the American economy now depends on the willingness of the debt-laden, materialistic American citizen to become even more debt-laden and materialistic.

All of this brings to mind an incredibly deceptive commercial from a few years ago. It pictured a wife trying to explain to her husband (of course, it would show a woman instructing her husband; the other direction just isn’t kosher on TV) about the wonderful options now open to them by borrowing against their home equity.

Some of you may remember it, too. It started with the wife holding a clear pitcher of water, and saying to the husband something like, “This is our home equity.” Then she gets several clear glasses and begins to fill them with the water from the pitcher, saying with one glass, “This is our daughter’s college tuition,” moving to another glass, “This is the vacation we’ve been wanting,” etc. The husband’s eyes brighten as he catches the materialistic “vision.”

Instead, why couldn't the husband have responded, “Well, honey, how did that water get into that pitcher in the first place? Have you thought of that? You know, now that you’ve filled up all of these glasses, I can’t help but notice that we now have an empty pitcher. How are we going to fill that pitcher again?” He would have done his family a lot of good and given his wife an important education.

Regrettably, that commercial reflected the approach of a nation. And now, the nation’s pitcher is empty.

The Scriptures prophesy of America facing problematic debt in the end times – and not just debt, but debt to foreign nations (Habakkuk 2:6-7, Deuteronomy 28:43-44). They also point to a disastrous lack of leadership in the end times (Isaiah 3:1-3, Ezekiel 22:30). If you don’t see shades of these prophecies in today’s headlines and news clips, I would say you aren’t really looking.

If you are interested in how America really got to this point and what the Bible says still lies ahead, consider reading our free booklet The United States and Great Britain in Prophecy or watch the Tomorrow’s World telecast America on the Brink.

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