HONEST WITH OUR MONEY

“He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved.”
Psalm 15:5.

Does God care how we manage our finances? Of course, the answer is obviously, “Yes.” In this Psalm, the Bible is concentrating on the things that God requires in those who will dwell in His holy hill. God records for us several matters of behavior or attitude that are essential for those that will abide with Him. He details such things as honesty, backbiting, keeping commitments, and other things.

Here the Lord concludes with two attributes that have to do with one’s personal finances. He excludes someone who puts out “his money to usury.” The word “usury” is defined as “lending money with interest charged.” God gave specific instructions to His people about the matter of charging interest. The Jews were allowed to charge interest to strangers, but not to their brethren. However, in the case of a person that is very poor, even if he were a stranger or non-Jew, they were forbidden to charge interest. “Thou shalt not give him thy money upon usury, nor lend him thy victuals for increase” (Leviticus 25:37). We are not to use our money to take advantage of the unfortunate. The charging of exorbitant or illegal interest, or loaning money to the desperate and then charging them interest is not the kind of character that God wants in His children.

Taking “reward against the innocent” refers to taking bribes. This would be a matter of injustice. If a judge or a witness would receive money in exchange for a sentence against the innocent, this is wicked. The taking of bribes is expressly forbidden in the Scriptures. When a person can be bought, he does not have the character that God is looking for.

There is much in the Word of God about the way we manage our money. In a word, we should use our money for God’s glory. It certainly should not be used to benefit from the misfortune of those who are already in great need. David concludes this Psalm with the words, “He that doeth these things shall never be moved.” He has answered the questions, “LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill?” We are challenged to develop the character traits that are described, that we might be permitted to abide in the tabernacle of God and dwell in His holy hill.