Wall Street and Witch Craft

Posted by on Oct 23, 2015 in Uncategorized | No Comments

IDOL

 

“If I have made gold my trust or called fine gold my confidence,

if I have rejoiced because my wealth was abundant or because my hand had found much,

if I have looked at the sun when it shone, or the moon moving in splendor, and my heart has been secretly enticed, and my mouth has kissed my hand,

this also would be an iniquity to be punished by the judges, for I would have been false to God above.”

– Job 31:24-27

 

Paganism?

What comes to mind when you think of the word “Paganism,” or “Pagan”?

Perhaps it’s the specter of shadowy idols being served in secret ceremonies…

Or a dark room lit with candles…

Or a gathering in the forest at night to worship the moon and stars….

If someone is involved in Paganism we normally expect there to be some telltale signs.  However, in the passage above, Job links Paganism together with trusting in our wealth. That’s startling. Suddenly a routine trip to the bank on a Saturday morning has the potential to be just as demonically-charged as bowing down to the sun and moon. How is that possible? I want to take a few minutes to consider Job’s words here and what our response to them might be.

 

Job’s Argument

First, it’s important to understand Job’s thought process. These four verses are structured as an “if / then” argument. Job gives two sections of “if” followed by one statement of “then” and he ends with a grounding statement to support the whole thing. Note the structure below:

IF, part 1 (dealing with trust in money):

If I have made gold my trust or called fine gold my confidence,

if I have rejoiced because my wealth was abundant or because my hand had found much,

IF, part 2 (dealing with the worship of nature)

if I have looked at the sun when it shone, or the moon moving in splendor, and my heart has been secretly enticed, and my mouth has kissed my hand,

THEN (drawing together both IF 1 and 2)

this also would be an iniquity to be punished by the judges

GROUND (explaining why “THEN” is the fitting response to the two “IFs”)

for I would have been false to God above

 

Both trusting in money and worshiping nature are alike instances of being “false to God above,” they are both idolatry. The implications to this are sobering.

 

Wall Street and Witches

Anchoring our hopes to our income is the same thing as offering blood to the stars…looking into the bank account and finding rest in the numbers is the same thing as muttering incantations to receive the protection of a forest spirit…rejoicing in the Savior of a wage increase is the same thing as offering praise to the Sun for our crops …the chaotic buying and selling of Wall Street is the same thing as a coven of witches worshiping the moon….and on and on the connections could go.

Here in America and other western nations, we may feel that the worship of demons is a danger that exists only beyond our borders, but the reality is that our culture is built on idolatry (and all idolatry has demonic undertones). According to Job, a culture grounded in a money-trusting mindset is – in regard to its opposition to God – the same thing as a culture built on nature worship.

And this is a danger for believers as well….you don’t have to be rich to be tempted to trust in and have confidence in money, in fact, sometimes the less of it you have the more it looks like a savior! The idolatrous pull of “money trust” assaults all people equally. So – how do we combat this? How do we tear down the idolatrous trust of money that grows up in our hearts?

 

He Will Never Leave Us…

I have no “silver bullet” answers here and am certainly no expert, but I hope I can bring at least one verse to bear on this issue and help my heart and yours in the fight against money-trust. The verse I’m thinking of is Hebrews 13:5,

“Keep your life free from the love of money, and be content with what you have, for He has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’”

The author of Hebrews issues a Spirit-inspired command here, what is it?

“Keep your life free from the love of money, and be content with what you have.”

In other words, “do not bow at Money’s altar, do not offer up the adoration and trust and hunger of your heart to a dead god of paper and metal and numbers.” The author of Hebrews is commanding Christ-followers not to stumble into the idolatry that Job addresses in Job 31.

But – as is nearly always the case in scripture – this command does not simply hang in the air. God rarely if ever says to His children “do it because I said so…” rather, He anchors and grounds His commands, and that is the case with this one. So what is the reasoning that grounds this command?

“For He has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Awesome. Why are we to be free from the love of money? Because God Himself – through the work of Jesus and by the presence of the Spirit – God Himself is with the Christian and has sworn by His blood never to leave us or forsake us. We are free from money love because the Living and Present God of the universe has promised that His shepherding, sustaining presence will ever be with His children….and that is better than gold.

What this comes down to is a matter of trust. Do we trust the word of God – the word the created and upholds the universe, the word made certain by the seal of His own blood – or do we trust numbers printed on green paper and bank statements? Which is more trustworthy? Which do we believe in? Which will support the weight of our souls when our hearts have stopped and we walk through eternity’s door? Numbers and figures whose value derives from the shifting sands of the world market, or the unchangeable word of the living God? Whose presence will quiet our hearts in their most desperate need? The unblinking  face of a dead man carved into a metal coin, or the transcendent nearness of the Creator who loves us and gave Himself for us? If our eyes are open, the decision is clear.

And yet…..there is still a struggle. The temptation to worship at the altar of Money is strong, especially in America. But YHWH is the living God, and He has come in Christ and carried our sins and absorbed our punishment and died our death and inaugurated our resurrection so that we can make victorious war on idolatry in our hearts. Jesus is better. His words are better, His promises are better, His care is better, His reward is better, may He give us the grace to trust in Him and flee idolatry – in all its forms.

 

Leave a Reply