Read Habakkuk 2
Focus on verse 6-7
The sign was large and well lit. “Get a cash advance on your paycheck!” it proclaimed boldly! It was not a large building, but it was brightly colored and conveniently located. I have never frequented one of these places. I was warned by my parents to avoid loansharks. I’ve always had visions of the person behind the counter being a man with tattoos and an eye-patch named Bugsy! In my vision he talks with a raspy voice, and if you ask him what happens if you can’t pay the loan back he says in his raspy voice, “Then we send Guido to find you – you no pay – he smash your kneecaps!”
In today’s reading Habakkuk writes,
Woe to him who heaps up what is not his own – for how long? – and loads himself with pledges!” Will not your debtors suddenly arise, and those awake who will make you tremble? Then you will be spoil for them. (v. 6b – 7)
In the context of the book he is addressing the Chaldeans, who have become proud of their arrogant and violent ways. They have plundered many nations, only because God has allowed them to do so, but they give no honor to God, so the debt they owe to God is being called in.
This also very aptly applies to our current situation both as individuals, and as a nation. The nation of America has amassed an astronomical amount of debt that grows by hundreds of thousands of dollars per day. The number of people who individually owe more than they are worth is also frighteningly high. Apparently the average American has not yet mastered the fundamental principle of spending less than one is earning. As a result we own more than we are worth, which places us at the mercy of the loan sharks. When the loan sharks call in the debt, we will become spoil for them, it is only a matter of time.
The wise person approaches debt with the attitude of a gazelle being pursued by a cheetah. The wise approach to debt is to run from it as fast and as far as possible. Or as the Apostle Paul writes,
Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. (Romans 13:8)
In other words, the only thing we should owe each other is a debt of love because love is a commodity that God has an infinite supply of, and He gladly gives it to us to repay one another. Beyond that – being debt free is the way to go!