Here are these three Bible verses about money that always get me thinking either strange or unorthodox views about money. The only thing you can do wrong with this post is think too seriously about it. There are just random thoughts that, at the end of the day, probably just represent some quirky curiosity.
Was Jeremiah Guilty of Insider Trading?
Today it is illegal to use inside information (information not accessible to the general public) to make informed decisions about the purchase or sale of a stock.
But, I think Jeremiah was guilty of it when he bought a field (Jer. 32).
God informed Jeremaiah that his cousin, Hanamel, was going to approach him and ask him to buy a field. So when the cousin did in fact show up Jeremiah bought the field.
For this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Houses, fields and vineyards will again be bought in this land. (Jeremiah 32:15, NIV)
Did you catch that?
God told Jeremiah that the value of land was going to improve. He knew of a market that was going to turn around before it happened because God gave him insider information.
Ultimately, the question is: when did God give Jeremiah this insight – before or after the purchase of land?
I’m guessing there’s no court today that would convict a man of insider trading based on what God told him would happen.
Did Joseph Have a Good Business Plan?
Let me share a story.
A few years ago, when the power went out in California for a few days (due to a natural disaster – my memory is fuzzy), there was a guy who was one of the few store owners who had ice left. So, what did this entrepreneur do?
He tripled his price because he had a monopoly on the ice market, and people desperately wanted ice.
The only problem is that once everything came back online, several neighbors tried to get the folks to boycott the store because they felt like the guy had done his best to profit from their disadvantage.
My question is this – is that exactly what Joseph did?
Did he profit off of other peoples misfortune?
Clearly, God used Joseph to provide deliverance to his chosen people.
But I do know this about the Bible: just because a story is included in the Bible doesn’t mean God agrees with how all the details played out. If you don’t agree, just read about people when they lie, visit prostitutes, or have multiple wives. The Bible often doesn’t offer moral judgements in the middle of narrative sections of the Bible.
Ultimately, I guess the question relies on pricing. Were some people turned away and left to starve because they didn’t have the money?
Either way, I really think I’d have trouble sleeping at night if I were Joseph (and perhaps he did, too).
Did Annanias and Sapphire Really Have Freedom to Do Whatever They Wanted with Money?
If you’ve read a single book about Christian finances, I bet you’ve heard Psalm 24:1 quoted – the earth is the Lord’s and everything in it.
However, read now two of the three questions that Peter asked Annanias and Sappphire.
- Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold?
- And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal?
Through his questions, Peter seems to be indicating that Annanias and Sapphire were actually the owners of what they had. Yes, all things can be dually owned – God can own them and we can also own them. Peter also seems to indicate that the money was ‘at your disposal’. There was a freedom of choice in how to use it, and it seems as if they had done something different with the money, God wouldn’t have minded.
This passage is just a good passage to consider in light of Ps. 24:1. They don’t say opposite things, but we get a fuller picture if we consider them both in light of our ownership and God’s ownership.