This Christian Journey:
Borrowing and Lending
by Dr. Walter D. Huyck Jr., D.Min.
are many things in our contemporary culture that are now accepted as normal and
acceptable yet stand in stark contrast to the revealed will of God.
God has largely revealed His will within His written Word, the Bible.
Still, even born again Christians fail to recognize the supreme wisdom of
our Lord which, if diligently obeyed, always leads to contentment and
Christians fail to glean the many blessings provided by their Heavenly Father to
those who love and obey Him, because they just do not realize that they stand in
opposition to His divine will. How
could they not know? They don’t
know because they have never read nor been taught the principles that they are
violating. These are sins of
ignorance. None-the-less they are still
sins and rebellion, and sin always causes a separation between God and His
way, there is no real reason for anyone to be ignorant of the things of God.
All a person has to do is open their Bible, read it, study it, memorize
it and meditate upon it. This is
why a Christian should read their Bible everyday and should read the whole Bible
every year. By reading your whole
Bible annually, you will have the best opportunity for God to manifest all of
His revealed will to you. If you
only read portions of the Bible, and read it at irregular intervals, then you
open yourself up to the possibility of living outside of the will of God,
because you have never really discovered the whole of His will in the first
culture of the world around us lives in a condition that is quite far from God.
This does not mean that everyone in our culture is morally bad, but it
does mean that those things that are common and acceptable to our culture may be
very much opposed to the heart of our Heavenly Father.
Since we all began life and live a portion of our life as children of
this world rather than as children of Almighty God, then we must understand that
there are likely to be things in our life that are normal and acceptable to us
by our traditions and upbringing but are unacceptable to our newly-found Lord
and Savior. The question is: who
are you going to trust, and who are you going to live for?
Will it be a world that may momentarily fulfill some of your desires but
will leave you all alone in the end or a Heavenly Father who will never leave
you nor forsake you and who sacrificed the very best that heaven had to offer to
prove to you how much He loves you.
Borrowing and Lending In Our Contemporary Culture
personal and corporate (Church) finances is just one of these issues.
Our world and our culture have developed a way of handling financial issues that
seems to work well for its purposes but may lead us to accept methods that are
very much opposed to the revealed will of God.
In our world, we have become very accustomed to borrowing and lending
(debt). We consider debt as a
normal part of our lives and personal finances.
Many Christians may not realize God actually has had a lot to say about
borrowing and lending in the Bible.
probably should be noted that God is not so much opposed to borrowing and
lending, but rather, He is opposed to borrowing and lending on interest.
There are two common words used in the King James Bible that denote
interest; these are usury and
There is nothing wrong with straight-out borrowing a tool or a cart to
get some task done and then returning it.
There is also nothing wrong with straight-out borrowing money and then
returning it with no interest.
The only problem is that when you
borrow anything, whether for interest or not, you become bound to the lender
until your promise is fulfilled.
The Bible says it this way:
rich ruleth over the poor , and the borrower [is] servant to the lender .
borrow a hand drill, then you are obligated to the owner of the hand drill until
it is acceptably returned to him.
If anything should happen to the hand drill while it is in your hand, then you
must either repair it or replace it so that it can be acceptably returned to its
owner. This is generally the
unspoken understanding in our culture today among our older generation.
However, there seems to be some doubt
about whether our younger generations hold to this same position.
Regardless, the borrower, even when interest is not involved, is always
bound to the lender until the obligation is fulfilled.
we place this principle in the light of our personal finances or the finances of
the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ, we need to realize that:
can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or
else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and
Lord intends for us to serve Him with all of our hearts and minds (Rom 12.1-2).
He calls us to be completely sold-out and surrendered to Him in every
regard. Should our Lord call us to
leave immediately on some arduous journey to deliver some people in bondage, as
He did Moses, He expects us to go in obedience to His calling.
Moses went. Yes, he tried to
talk his way out of the task and journey, but he obeyed and went.
However, if you are bound up in debt, whether interest is involved or
not, then you are entangled with your promises, and you cannot go until you have
made yourself free form your bondage (debt).
You see, you cannot serve two masters.
If you will be obedient to God and you are bound up in debt, then God is
not really your master. Mammon has
become your master. Hence, in order
to be truly free to obey your Heavenly Father, you must get out from under your
bondage of debt.
Christians must be consistently reminded that God expects you keep your word
even if it turns to your own hurt (Prov 15.5).
Whenever you borrow anything, for any reason, you obligate yourself to
the lender. Hence, the children of
God ought to be extremely careful about entering into any long-term debt.
Paul said it this way:
man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath
fulfilled the law.
Borrowing a tool for a couple of days is as harmless as the responsibility that
accompanies the tool but entering into some long-term obligation potentially
robs one of their ability to be submissive and responsive to their Lord.
Borrowing On Interest
Interest in association with debt is as common in our culture as drinking water.
Larry Burchett once noted, a few years ago, that the average credit card
debt for American households was in the range of $20,000.00.
This does not include a mortgage payment, car payment or other payments.
That’s just astronomical!
Debt has become so common place in the average home that it has become a given
in the Church house as well. Church
members now look at interest debt as a normal part of life.
very clear in the Bible about usury and surety, which is interest in our day.
Notice what is recorded in:
My son , if thou be surety for thy
friend , [if] thou hast stricken thy hand with a stranger ,
2 Thou art snared with the words
of thy mouth , thou art taken with the words of thy mouth .
3 Do this now , my son , and deliver thyself, when thou art come into the
hand of thy friend ; go , humble thyself, and make sure thy friend .
4 Give not sleep to thine eyes , nor slumber to thine eyelids .
5 Deliver thyself as a roe from the hand [of the hunter], and as a bird
from the hand of the fowler .
snare is a trap. Those who become
surety, or enter into interest debt, are trapped by their own words.
God reveals what the end of this agreement will be.
God says, in essence, you will keep your word; you will work off your
debt in full. Hence, when any one
of God’s children enters into a debt, they need to do whatever it takes to meet
their obligations. This is why God
He that is surety for a stranger shall smart [for it]: and he that
hateth suretiship is sure.
impossible to miss the message in this verse of Scripture.
If you want to have confidence in life, then hate debt.
If you enter into a debt, know that it will eventually sting like salt in
an open wound. Notice what else God
says about interest:
A man void of understanding striketh
hands , [and] becometh surety in the presence of his friend .
statement “void of understanding” is
very much like calling someone a fool.
It cannot be pleasant for our Heavenly Father to look at any of His
children and regard them as fools or as ignorant children.
Every parent knows of those times when they have warned their children,
based on their past experiences, only to have their words of wisdom fall on deaf
ears. We born again Christians need
to listen to the eternally wise words of our Heavenly Father.
Ezekiel wrote, in prophetic Scripture, of what the just and obedient man would
be like. Read this passage of
Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father , so also the soul of the
son is mine: the soul that sinneth , it shall die .
5 But if a man be just , and do
that which is lawful and right ,
6 [And] hath not eaten upon the mountains , neither hath lifted up his
eyes to the idols of the house of Israel , neither hath defiled his neighbour's
wife , neither hath come near to a menstruous woman ,
7 And hath not oppressed any , [but] hath restored to the debtor his
pledge , hath spoiled none by violence , hath given his bread to the hungry ,
and hath covered the naked with a garment ;
8 He [that] hath not given forth
upon usury , neither hath taken any increase , [that] hath withdrawn his
hand from iniquity , hath executed true judgment between man and man ,
9 Hath walked in my statutes , and hath kept my judgments , to deal truly
; he [is] just , he shall surely live , saith the Lord GOD .
curious to note that through Ezekiel, God turns the tables on interest a bit.
Our Lord reveals that it is not only wrong to borrow on interest, but it
is also wrong to lend on interest.
A couple of chapters later Ezekiel records:
In thee have they taken gifts to shed blood ; thou hast taken usury and increase
, and thou hast greedily gained of thy neighbours by extortion , and hast
forgotten me, saith the Lord GOD .
God connected greed and extortion with interest-bearing debt.
This sheds new light on one of my favorite Scriptures:
and be content with such things
as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
our lack of contentment with what our Heavenly Father has given us and our lack
of a willingness to wait on our Heavenly Father to give us those things we
desire that leads us into interest bearing debt in the first place.
This is clearly a driving factor in our culture today.
People want what they want, and
they want it right now. Hence,
they are willing to enter into debt to fulfill their purposes rather than to
wait on God’s provision to fulfill His purposes.
Through interest-bearing debt, we have become the lord’s of our own
circumstances and provisions.
Nehemiah gives us another lesson in interest-bearing debt.
Read and consider this passage carefully:
there was a great cry of the people and of their wives against their brethren
the Jews. 2 For there were that
said, We, our sons, and our daughters,
are many: therefore we take up corn
for them, that we may eat, and
Some also there were that said,
We have mortgaged our lands, vineyards, and houses, that we might buy corn,
because of the dearth. 4 There were
also that said, We have borrowed money for the king's tribute,
and that upon our lands and
vineyards. 5 Yet now our flesh
is as the flesh of our
brethren, our children as their children: and, lo, we bring into bondage our
sons and our daughters to be servants, and
some of our daughters are
brought unto bondage already:
neither is it in our power
to redeem them; for other men
have our lands and vineyards. 6
And I was very angry when I heard their
cry and these words. 7 Then I
consulted with myself, and I rebuked the nobles, and the rulers, and said unto
them, Ye exact usury, every one of his
brother. And I set a great assembly against them.
8 And I said unto them, We after our
ability have redeemed our brethren the Jews, which were sold unto the heathen;
and will ye even sell your brethren? or shall they be sold unto us? Then held
they their peace, and found nothing to
answer. 9 Also I said, It
is not good that ye do: ought
ye not to walk in the fear of our God because of the reproach of the heathen our
enemies? 10 I likewise,
and my brethren, and my
servants, might exact of them money and corn: I pray you,
let us leave off this usury.
11 Restore, I pray you, to them, even
this day, their lands, their vineyards, their oliveyards, and their houses, also
the hundredth part of the
money, and of the corn, the wine, and the oil, that ye exact of them.
12 Then said they, We will restore
them, and will require nothing
of them; so will we do as thou sayest. Then I called the priests, and took an
oath of them, that they should do according to this promise.
13 Also I shook my lap, and said, So God
shake out every man from his house, and from his labour, that performeth not
this promise, even thus be he shaken out, and emptied. And all the congregation
said, Amen, and praised the LORD. And the people did according to this promise.
Consider that Nehemiah became very angry when he heard these peoples’ complaint.
These people were literally starving, and the rich among them took
advantage of their circumstances.
They borrowed just to eat and survive.
Nehemiah had a different solution to the evil that was taking place among
these people. He literally ordered
the rich to forgive the debts completely.
Part of the point in this passage is that debt, regardless of how it is
entered into, makes the borrower the servant of the lender and should be avoided
at all costs.
God's Abiding Presence
what does it take for a born-again Christian to walk near unto their Lord?
Is it possible that debt could somehow influence our relationship with
our Heavenly Father? Consider this
passage of Scripture:
who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who
shall dwell in thy holy hill? 2
He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in
his heart. 3
He that backbiteth not with his
tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his
neighbour. 4 In whose eyes a vile
person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the LORD.
He that sweareth to
his own hurt, and changeth not.
He that putteth not out his
money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these
things shall never be moved.
put, if you give your word in a contractual obligation, you should keep you
word. If you can avoid interest bearing debt, or any debt at all, then you will
be free to serve your Heavenly Father in complete and total submission and
surmise what it is hoped that this study has helped you to discover:
The borrower is the servant of the lender; God wants us to be His servants
Interest is a trap for the borrower, and God expects for you to meet your
Interest reflects the greed of the lender and the borrower.
God expects us to help one another
expecting nothing in return.
The Church of our Lord Jesus Christ needs to rest in the provision and
timing of our Lord and be content with what He provides.
Free KJV Bible Study Tools. Free KJV Bible Study
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comments regarding this article are always welcome.
Published April 16, 2007
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