(Pro 22:7 KJV) The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.
Finance is always a part of the spiritual life. Here and in verse 26 we see two different traps that we can fall into.
The first part of this seems obvious. Someone always “ruleth” (4910). And it tends to be the rich. Do they rule because they are rich, or are they rich because they rule? Either way, it is only logical. If poor people could rule, they would cease being poor.
The second part is a thought that we need to look at more closely. The warning here does not come natural to us but should be at the front of our mind. We should avoid being a “borrower” (3867b). This will cause us to be a “servant" (slave NASB) (5650). Unpaid debts led to slavery in those days. Today it binds us and keeps us from living free lives.
Usually we claim that we are helpless to avoid being in debt. Sometimes that may even be true but I have always wondered how we can have illegal immigrants in this country, working for low wages, supporting their families and sending billions of dollars home. At the same time the guy making three times as much says he can’t pay his bills. We are so used to the affluent life style that we don’t recognize how trapped we are.
When my son was growing up he would tell me he needed something, usually having to do with computers. I would ask him, “Do you need it or just want it?” He never liked to answer that. Think about the things that used to be luxuries: Washing machines, air-conditioning, hot running water, starters on cars, cars, refrigerators, micro-waves, etc. People lived for thousands of years without these things, but we “need” them. And often we do to live in our culture, but not as many are “needed” as we would believe.
So we go into debt. We borrow. And according to the word of God we become slaves. We are no longer free to follow where God leads. We can no longer give to those in need. Heed the warning.
We are only to be slaves to God.