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God As Investor With Jason Myhre

MoneyWise

Christian talk radio with Rob West

September 28, 2022

We’re used to thinking about God as Creator, Savior, King, Shepherd, and Judge. But have you ever thought about God as an Investor? We’ll talk about that today with investing professional Jason Myhre. Jason Myhre is Executive Director of the Eventide Center for Faith Investing, an educational initiative of Eventide Asset Management and an underwriter of MoneyWise. Myhre says one of the unique things about Scripture is that it gives us many different ways to think about God: God as our Father, Creator, Redeemer, Savior, King, Judge, Physician, Shepherd. And we could go on. But few of us have ever thought about God as Investor. As strange as that might sound, it’s actually a biblical way of thinking about God and one that sheds unique light on God’s work in creation and redemption. And that it also sheds unique light on our work as investors today. GOD AS INVESTOR’ IN THE BIBLE In order for us to see this in the Bible, we first have to understand what investing originally meant. Today, we tend to understand investing as investing our money into companies in order to get, hopefully, a good financial return. But investing originally had a very different meaning, and one that is much more profound. Investing originally meant to clothe someone in the official robes of an office. Let’s unpack that a bit. First, clothing. Investing was related to clothing. And we still have some remnants of this connection today. In very formal churches, for example, the pastor or priest wears a robe. And that robe is called a vestment. Vestment, investing, clothing you see the connection. Or think about a three-piece suit. You have the pants, jacket, and a vest. Vest, investing, clothing. So there’s the clothing connection. Second, investing was to clothe someone else. Not yourself. Third, it was specifically work clothing. It was to clothe someone with the official robes of an office for a job. But don’t think work uniform. ’ We’re talking about dignified clothing, robes that signify highly important work. Queen Elizabeth II recently passed away. Think about her robes, which signified authority and power related to her office as queen. That’s the idea here. So, investing originally meant to clothe someone in the official robes of an office. And, as it turns out, this is exactly what we see God doing when he creates humanity in his image. He invests in us. He clothes us for specific work. In fact, we see two kinds of clothes for two kinds of work. TWO KINDS OF CLOTHING FOR WORK The first is Royal Clothing, which we see in Genesis 1. There’s a commissioning ceremony when God creates humanity in Genesis 1. And the language there is royal language God says let them rule or have dominion and subdue the earth. What this is describing is God is commissioning Adam and Eve to be his vice-regents, or under-rulers over his creation. In Psalm 8 we have King David reflecting on this commissioning ceremony in Genesis 1 and listen to what he says. He says, What is man that you are mindful of him? the son of man that you regard him? You have made him little lower than the heavenly court crowned him with glory and honor and put all things beneath his feet. This is royal language describing the robes of the office that God gave to us. And when it says that he put all things beneath the feet of humanity, this is a reference to the footstool of a king or queen. God has clothed us with royal clothing and granted us authority and power to rule over creation as his chosen representatives! And if you’re astonished by that, well, so was King David he says, What is man that you are mindful of him? The son of man that you regard him? We are made in God’s image. Part of the meaning of image is that were made royal stewards over God’s beautiful and good creation The second kind of clothing for work is Religious Clothing. In Ezekiel 28 we read about Adam in the garden of Eden. And what we learn there is that the garden of Eden was no ordinary garden. It was actually God's Dwelling place it was his holy temple. And Adam is described there as the high priest in God’s garden-of-Eden-temple. What’s fascinating about that passage is that it goes into great detail describing Adam’s clothing. It talks about Adam wearing a breastplate with all of these in-laid precious stones carnelian, chrysolite and emerald, topaz, onyx and jasper, lapis lazuli, turquoise and beryl. That might sound strange unless you know your Old Testament. Because if you’ve studied the temple of God in the Old Testament you realize that what’s being described is the official robe of the high priest. The priest wore a long robe and a gold breastplate laid with rows of precious stones. And so in addition to being kings and queens, humanity was also made to be priests to God. Serving God and mediating his divine blessings to the rest of creation. God invested humanity with royal clothing and religious clothing. This is why the bible so often describes God’s people as a royal priesthood or a kingly and priestly people. It is because invested us with his image and gave us authority and power to serve him in royal and religious ways. How does the Fall and Redemption play into this idea of investing? We know that God made humanity to be a royal priesthood. But almost as soon as the commissioning ceremonies were complete, humanity fails, and falls in sin. But, God in his infinite grace and mercy invests in humanity yet again. Think about what happens after Adam and Eve sin. They become aware that they are naked and try to sew fig leaves together to cover their nakedness. But then what does God do? He gives Adam and Eve new clothing. Specifically, he gives them sacrificial clothing. He covers them in the skins of animals, which was the first time something was killed in God’s peaceful creation. God sacrifices in order to clothe the shame and guilt of Adam’s and Eve’s transgression. And this sacrificial clothing is a foreshadowing of the work of Jesus, who sacrificed his own life to cover the guilt of our sin. And the New Testament specifically talks about being clothed in Christ. And we’re instructed to take off the clothes of the old sinful nature, and to put on the new clothes of righteousness in Christ. And the promise of the bible is that God’s final sacrifice enables us to once again become the royal priesthood God made us to be. Isn’t that so beautiful? ! KEY TAKEAWAYS Think about investing today. Today, most investors are thinking only about what they get out of investing, which is the prospect of financial returns. But, as we’ve been discussing, investing should be about clothing someone else for noble work. This original meaning of investing (clothing someone else) can remind us of the fact that investing is really about supplying capital to a business in order for them to be empowered to fulfill their work in the world. When we invest our money we can think of it as clothing companies with capital so that they are enabled to pursue their mission in the world. And so, I think the take-away is for us to consider the companies we’re investing in. We should be asking, "What businesses are doing good work that are worthy to be clothed with capital? " To learn more about faithful investing, check out the Eventide Center for Faith Investing at FaithAndinvesting. com. On today’s program, Rob also answers listener questions: ● Are I-bonds a good investment right now? ● Would it be wise to divert some retirement funding to invest in a rental property? RESOURCES MENTIONED: ● TreasuryDirect. gov

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