In the midst of the current crisis, everyone is wondering, “What is going to happen?” A few are wondering, “What is God doing?” What I am going to write may strike you as being so radical that you will wonder about my sanity. Then, you will have to wonder about Jesus’ sanity, too.

I have had the opportunity to listen to most of the recent press conferences conducted by the President and his staff (from CDC, etc.). Slowly, but surely, these pressers have made it clear to me that the predominant god of this world is the economy. The economy feeds us, clothes us, houses us, takes care of us, heals us, provides jobs, gives us hope and stability. Virtually no one believes that this gospel has anything to do with faith (we are too sophisticated for such a primitive idea!); it is simply common sense! How else will we eat? We need commerce to buy clothes. We need jobs; without the economy, there will be no jobs. Of course!… To suggest that the economy is superfluous is simply stupid. The economy is essential or else billions of people will die.

Because that line of reasoning makes so much sense to me, it has only very gradually dawned on me that there is an infinite gulf between the President’s gospel (“I am the Chosen One.”) and the gospel of Jesus. Jesus told the rich, young ruler that if he wanted to have eternal life, he must sell all his possessions, give the money to the poor, and follow Him. Only recently did it occur to me to wonder, “If he sells everything and has no money and no job, then, how will this young man feed or clothe himself? Where will he live?” You might insist, “Jesus had no possessions but he had no needs, because there were wealthy women who gave money to his ministry. For the same reason, the young man will be fine, too.” Jesus would object to this explanation that fundamentally claims that the local economy provided for His needs. “It takes more than bread to stay alive. It takes a steady stream of words from God’s mouth… My food is to do the will of My Father… do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.” Jesus believed that everything we need comes from the Father, not from the god “Economy.” We claim to agree with Jesus, but the way we live and the things that concern us, especially in the middle of this crisis, betray the fact that what we really believe is that without the god “Economy,” our Father would be impotent to provide for us.

[1] When the Philistines captured the ark of God, they brought it from Ebenezer to Ashdod. [2] Then the Philistines took the ark of God and brought it into the house of Dagon and set it up beside Dagon. [3] And when the people of Ashdod rose early the next day, behold, Dagon had fallen face downward on the ground before the ark of the LORD. So they took Dagon and put him back in his place. [4] But when they rose early on the next morning, behold, Dagon had fallen face downward on the ground before the ark of the LORD, and the head of Dagon and both his hands were lying cut off on the threshold. Only the trunk of Dagon was left to him. [5] This is why the priests of Dagon and all who enter the house of Dagon do not tread on the threshold of Dagon in Ashdod to this day.

What is God doing? He is pushing over the god “Economy.” Every morning, we wake up to find “Economy” lying face down on the ground. Every day, we mend it and prop it back up. It strikes fear into the hearts of many people, including Christians, when we find our god in the dirt.

to this day“: Despite Dagon’s humiliation and the demonstration of his impotence, people clung to belief in him. As then, the people of today, including many Christians, will hold on to belief in the god “Economy” with great tenacity. Dagon fell over. The people stood him up. He fell over again, but broke. No doubt, they fixed him and stood him up again. We laugh in derision at the Philistines’ sheer stupidity, but cannot see that we are behaving in exactly the same way.

What do we do? “Trust Me on this one: Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me… seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” The god “Economy” cannot and will not save us. Our God does not need the economy to take care of us. There is only one Savior. We have only one Father. We have only one Hope.

God help us. God save us. “Blessed is the person who finds refuge in Him.”