What Does the Bible Say About National Debt?

Do you really know how much debt you owe? It might not be what you think.
If you are a citizen of the United States, your share of the national debt as of April 8, 2011 is . . . drumroll please . . . $45,889. By the way, that applies to a newborn child too. Our children are born in debt.

If you are wondering exactly what the national debt really is, it’s the amount that the government has borrowed from other nations and individuals. If we want to be debt free, every citizen – young and old – would have to pay $45,889. That’s not exactly pocket change is it?

Not only do we owe that money, interest is mounting. Much of our wealth is going out to other countries and individuals just to pay the interest. Remember, we are getting nothing in return for interest except the privilege of owing the money. If other countries decide not to lend us any more money, we will be in a fix for sure.

For the LORD thy God blesseth thee, as he promised thee: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, but thou shalt not borrow; and thou shalt reign over many nations, but they shall not reign over thee.
Deuteronomy 15:6

Did you notice that borrowing and being reigned over are coupled in this verse? Israel was told not to borrow. Wealth is created by lending, not borrowing. Not that God was necessarily trying to make them rich, but history tells us that borrowing is the road into oppression, and servitude.

If you have ever owed money on a mortgage, car payment, or credit card, etc… you may have had a tiny glimpse of what I mean as your spending is curbed by the debt. With a nation, the oppression and servitude that comes is much worse than skipping a movie or cutting back on expensive coffee. Sooner or later, debt has to be paid back.

What would happen to you if all of a sudden your lenders decided not to lend you any more money? Imagine what that would look like on a national scale. If you are like me, I cannot wrap my mind around it, but I do know that it would be very bad.

Ultimately, no matter what way we turn it, we cannot get around what scripture says. We have not followed what God told Israel to do. It was what was best for them, and it is what is best for us. As God’s people, perhaps we need to re-evaluate our choices to bring our country in line with what God would have us to do – or in this case not to do. God said, “but thou shalt not borrow”. Perhaps we also need to re-evaluate our own spending and borrowing.


Today’s challenge is to pray for wisdom for our leaders. We will need wise leaders to bring this country back to where God would have us to be. God intended Israel to be lenders not borrowers. We also need to be lenders, not borrowers.

Additionally, realize your winning potential by taking a look at your personal finances. Pray asking God to show you what change you need to make in your spending, tithing, and saving.