A few weeks ago I was reading the story of when Joseph interpreted Pharaoh’s dream (Genesis 41). My thought was why do we not apply this story to our life. Joseph told Pharaoh that there would be seven years of plenty followed by seven years of drought.
Growing up on a ranch I can identify with this. Weather is unpredictable, so when we had a good year we put some of the profit back. We would also take care of any needs we had, like updating our equipment or purchase supplies that we knew would be needed in the near future. We would also put back into the land by fertilizing, sowing seed into our hay meadows, and work on brush and weed control. Another thing I learned while growing up was that the market goes up and it goes down. It is not exact but there is about a ten year cycle. So you plan and anticipate when there will be a down turn and vice versa for when the market begins to go up. The market also fluctuates during certain times of the year. For example around Thanksgiving and Christmas most people eat ham and turkey, so not much beef is being purchased. However, in the summer around Memorial Day, Father’s Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day, people are grilling, so a lot of beef is sold during this time of year. That’s a pretty simplified explanation. There are more complex factors that go into predicting the market.
My point is, we can look at history and study patterns in the market and easily see that the market has it’s ups and downs. Any industry that is based on supply and demand, or weather and seasons, should prepare for those low market times. During the Great Depression banks went under because they loaned money to people who couldn’t pay it back. About fifteen years ago banks were doing well and started loaning outrageous amounts of money to anybody and everybody. Then when the loans weren’t paid back the banks got in over their heads and had to be bailed out. I remember in the 1980s the oil industry crashed. Four years ago, oil companies started drilling, drilling, drilling, and our supply of oil was so abundant they couldn’t sell it fast enough and there was no place to store it. Now the oil industry is in trouble once again.
So people take a lesson from the Bible. Save and put back during good times. Ration that savings during the hard times. Don’t get greedy. Don’t live beyond your means. If you ask to borrow a certain amount of money, and the bank says you qualify for twice that, DON’T TAKE THE BAIT. Borrow what you need and what you know you can pay back and a penny more. If your credit card company says they will increase your credit limit and you are already up to your neck in debt, DON’T TAKE THE BAIT.
Live within your means people. Resist greed. Read your Bible, they’re not just stories. Each book of the Bible is a instruction manual.
Until another day,