New Hope Notes

Proverbs To Guide Us In A Recession
Life Essentials

Pastor Wayne Cordeiro
February 22, 2009 - W0908

What will the Bible’s Book of Proverbs tell us in order to guide us through this recession? Since 2007 the U.S. lost 3.6 million jobs. Last month 600,000 jobs were lost.  The stock market’s Dow Jones Industrial Average is down to its lowest in 6 years. If you think you lost money, billionaire Warren Buffet recently lost $11 billion!


Proverbs tell us guidelines for this recession season and also for a lifetime. In the Old Testament, wealth was measured by how many sheep or goats you had in your flock. That is why this advice about your wealth is worded this way, “Know well the condition of your flocks, and pay attention to your herds; for riches are not forever, nor does a crown endure to all generations” (Prov. 27:23-24). In other words, know about your finances and wealth. And also remember that your wealth is only temporary. There are heavenly gifts that last forever.


So what got us into this recession? In a word: greed. And it was not only the greed of a few people but almost universal greed. The banks wanted more money so they granted shaky loans at sub prime rates. The CEO’s wanted bonuses that amounted to multi millions of dollars. Unqualified borrowers wanted too expensive homes that they could not normally afford. Business owners became addicted to big profit. Consumers wanted cheaper goods.


Back around World War II, we were in the industrial age. We manufactured all our own goods; clothes, steel, cars, etc. Because of our unmatched industrial might we became the wealthiest nation in the world. Our paper money back then was based on the gold standard. Because we manufactured almost all of our own goods we also exported everything to everybody around the world.


But we became addicted to profit. It became normal for athletes like baseball player Alex Rodriguez to receive a $126 million contract. But everybody still wanted more and so the work ethic thinned out and the entitlement mentality settled in. Eventually, businesses figured why pay Americans minimum wage here at over $5 when they can pay 25 cents a day elsewhere for the same or better production of goods? So American businesses moved their manufacturing to other countries like China. Therefore, more and more American money began flowing out to other countries. Wal-Mart has 36,000 workers in China.  U.S. increased goods but decreased their cash. And our goods depreciate. So foreign countries received tons of our cash while we received their depreciating goods.


So the United States is running out of money and does not have enough and therefore is simply printing money to try and make up the difference. We will eventually owe a trillion dollars. The national debt is huge. The danger is that inflation will rise because of the excessive printing of money and the value of the dollar will sink. Because we have no money to buy as much goods from China, they have shut down 100,000 factories! So now China is buying up American banks and companies with all the money we have sent them over the years! This is similar to what happened to Hawaii years ago when the Japanese bought up companies, hotels and real estate here. So even when we think we are buying American products we are sometimes actually sending the money to a foreign country because foreigners own that “American” company!


So what should we do? What is the wisest thing that Proverbs tells us to do?






Debt will kill you financially in a recession. You need all that money that you are throwing away in interest payments in order to survive these hard economic times. So “Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another” (Rom. 13:8). Also, “Do not co-sign another person’s note or put up a guarantee for someone else’s loan. If you can’t pay it, even your bed will be snatched from under you” (Prov. 22:26-27).




Put your money into money market funds or perhaps gold or conservative mutual funds. As the Bible says, “Do not weary yourself to gain wealth, cease from your consideration of it. When you set your eyes on it, it is gone” (Prov. 23:4-5). Some of you may have the cash to invest in foreclosure properties and you can make money from those if you know how but for the most part be conservative.




Always remember, “Know well the condition of your flocks, and pay attention to your herds…” (Prov. 27:23). We need to learn to budget because we need to be good stewards of our earthly possessions before God will entrust us with his shower of heavenly blessings.  Some budgeting tips are:




New Hope does have a website called “I need” and you can sell what you do not need on that.




As the Bible says, “…we urge you, brethren, to excel still more” (1 Thess. 4:10).





So Remember, “The righteous is more excellent than his neighbor …” (Prov. 12:26 KJV). This simply means that if you are a Christian than you should be an excellent worker and do an excellent job. While Christians always go to Heaven they can still be fired or laid off if they do not do excellence. We should increase our work ethic.  One of the ways is to have initiative and not need constant supervision.


We need to follow these guidelines so that we will emerge stronger and better from this recession season. So how do you know that you are on the right track?




Accordingly, “Honor the Lord from your wealth and from the first of all your produce; so your barns will be filled with plenty and your vats will overflow with new wine” (Prov. 3:9-10). When we cannot honor God with our tithe then that is a sign that we are on the wrong track. It means that something is out of balance and we may have let greed enter our lives.  And greed is what started this recession.  We should question ourselves. Are we eating out too much? Should we get a smaller house, buy less, earn more?


If we prepare with these Biblical guidelines, we will come through this recession season stronger, much better and honoring God.


The Bible gives us economic guidelines to see us through a recession. Know well the condition of your finances. Pay off all consumer debt. Invest in the most conservative ways. Learn to budget now. Eat at home more, eliminate frivolous spending and sell what you do not need. Increase your excellence as a worker by in part taking less and producing more. Make sure you rearrange your life so that you can honor God by continuing to tithe.





  1. Why should you know your finances?
  2. Why should you pay off all consumer debt?
  3. If you feel you have enough money, why should you budget?
  4. What makes it difficult to eat at home more?
  5. What did you buy frivolously and why?
  6. What do you have that you do not need?
  7. How can you be a more excellent worker?
  8. How will you rearrange your life so that you can honor God more?