Obie L. McKenzie
The Bible Economist
After nearly 50 years on Wall Street and 30 years teaching the Bible around the world, I have discovered some critical secrets to investing that will help prote ct you from the financial vicissitudes of COVID19—food insecurity, job loss, evictions, and not having enough mone y at the end of the week to make ends meet. The secrets appear in the over 2,300 scriptures in the Bible about money. The scriptures illuminate distinct differences between God’s biblical instructions for dealing with financial matters and man’s secular approach.
There was a time when I thought my Harvard Business School education and my Honorary Doctorate in Commercial Science had given me adequate information to manage my financial life successfully. However, after 76 years of life and many contemplative hours, I am convinced that my secular education left me woefully unprepared to accomplish the financial success that I wish for each reader of this treatise.
Chapter 1 of the book of Haggai illuminates the current financial cha-cha many of us experience today. It gives us direction for better management of our financial lives by changing our priorities. For far too many, there seem to be holes in our money buckets… and I don’t mean “D ear Liza.” There has been a hole in my money bucket for quite some time. How about yours?
The book of Haggai (1:2-6) describes the hole in the money bucket that many of us experience today. (2)This is what Lord Almighty says: “These people say, ‘The time has not yet come to rebuild the Lord’s house. (3)“Then the word of the Lord came through the Prophet Haggai: (4)“Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your own paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin? (5)” Now this is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. (6)You have planted much, but harveste d little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put in a purse with holes in it.” Now there is the hole in our financial buckets!
God’s word says that many of us spend our time tr ying to build our own bank accounts, while forsaking what we should be doing for the owner of everything— God. The earth is the Lord’s, not ours. The biblical proof statement for the ownership of stuff is in Psalms 24:1, the first financial secret I w ill share with you: 1“The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.” We can never be financially successful until we understand that God ow ns everything and, as such, we need to put Him first by asking Him what He wants us to do with His stuff in every situation.
You might wonder how we should ask God what He w ants us to do with His stuff. The Biblical answer to that question is clear in Matthe w 6:33: “Seek ye first the kingdom of Go d and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.” The righteousness of G od is Jesus Christ, and He can be found by searching the scriptures. John 5:39 provides a dire ctive from Jesus: “You search the scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testif y of Me.” That’s the second secret I’m sharing with you. Once you have accepted God’s ownership of everything, you must study the word of Go d in the scriptures to get clarity on what you should do about God’s stuff.
God’s wealth for us is the eternal life we are promised by faith and confession alone. Romans 10:9 “…that if you declare with your mouth ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that Go d raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” There lies the promise of eternal life where the wealth of God resides. And, by the way, I did suggest that it is necessary to study the word of God in order to make the right decisions. But, study is more than just reading the scriptures. The proof statement for the encouragement to study the word of God is in the book of Second Timothy 2:15 “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman who needeth not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
In summary the secrets for financial success I have shared thus far are: First, accept the idea that God owns ever y thing. Second, accept the fact that, as the owner of everything, He should have something to say about His stuff. Third, for the best results, seek God’s Biblical instructions first. Know that the scriptures are the best source for finding G od’s instr uctions regarding what to do with His possessions. Finally, study God’s word to gain clarity.
I hope this brief treatise will help someone.
See you next time,