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Slaves To Debt


Imagine going to a bank and asking for a loan.  A lady asks you, "what collateral do you have?"  The bank wants to know you have something valuable enough to compensate for the loan in case you fail to repay it. 


Now imagine answering her by saying, "I've got myself as collateral."  While leaning back in her chair, the lady laughs and says, "sorry, you're not that valuable to us."  


I moved back to Canada in 1984 from the United States.  Shortly before leaving I attended one of those "get rich quick" weekend conferences where the only one who gets rich is the guy who hosts the conference.  That weekend motivated me to head off to the bank.  With boldness and innocence, I asked the bank lady if her bank believed in "creative financing".  After explaining my situation, the nice lady smiled at me and said, "sorry Steve, we're not that creative."  I could have offered myself as collateral but she would have probably told me I was way too skinny to be of any value to her or the bank.   


In ancient civilizations, including Israel, a man could consider himself as collateral in case he defaulted on a debt.  The Law of Moses provided for such collateral.  (Exodus 21:2 and 22:3)  In short, a man could sell himself to the one he owed money to in order to repay his debt. 


Banks view your debt to them as an asset.  The more money you owe them, the richer they are.  Of course that assumes you have something of value that matches the value of your debt.  This became a problem that helped create our recent financial crisis.  Banks lent lots of money to lots of people.  That looked good on their books until the collateral that backed these loans, and the homes that were mortgaged, lost their value.  When people couldn't repay their loans, the banks were stuck with their clients' worthless collateral, making much of the banks' assets worthless.     


Governments around the world have borrowed lots of money to spend their way out of the recent recession.   These governments borrowed from other countries and financial institutions.  China has been financing the United State 's debt for a while now.  In the past, that has looked good on China's books because the U.S. has had valuable collateral to back their debt.  This is changing.  America's collateral isn't as valuable as it once was, so China is beginning to wonder if the U.S. can pay up.  America's excessive borrowing is one problem, but borrowing from a country who isn't exactly your friend is another problem.  This puts a lot of pressure on the U.S. that will be hard to withstand.


Despite all the money the American government has borrowed and spent in recent years, some U. S. government officials want to borrow and spend even more money.  If China and financial institutions are willing to lend more money to the U. S., that digs a deep hole of debt for the U. S. to climb out of.   Actually, the hole is probably already too deep to climb out of.   


America isn't the only nation who has dug itself into a deadly pit of debt.  Nations have been doing this for a few decades, but even more so of late.  If people and nations keep digging themselves into a deeper pit of debt, there comes a time when the pit is too deep to climb out of.  Then what happens?       

When individuals or nations have too much debt and too little collateral, they become slaves to their lenders.  The Biblical principle is simple.  The one who owes the debt is a servant to the one who lends the money.  In one real sense of the word, the debtor nations of the world are selling themselves into slavery, just as an indebted man could do in Old Testament days. 


Prophetically speaking, I'm a Futurist.  I see at some future time the anti-christ and his new world order coming to the rescue.  He will take a page out of the Bible and offer to cancel our debt.  In return for this freedom from debt, we will become his slaves.  Even though we free ourselves from debt, we enslave ourselves to a dictatorial system.  So, whether we accept his offer or reject it, either way, our excessive borrowing has enslaved us.    


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