A great many unfortunate people have been affected by foreclosure on their homes in recent years as a result of the worldwide economic down- turn. Millions of people have been forced out of their houses in this situation – from tiny homes to great mansions – and moving beyond foreclosure is not easy. The process of recovery can be grueling and take years.
The first recorded home foreclosure may have occurred far earlier than you suspect. That first foreclosure was not due to failure to pay a high interest loan, however – or any kind of loan, in fact. The third chapter of Genesis describes the foreclosure in detail and shows that the first homeowners/tenants were evicted not for failure to pay, but as the price they paid for disregarding God’s clear tenancy instructions (Genesis 3:22-24).
Heartbreaking as modern home foreclosure may be, it is nowhere near as tragic as that first foreclosure in which the human family not only lost its “perfect home,” but also its relationship with the One who was the perfect builder and loan officer combined. Many homeowner and renter contracts are extremely complex, but according to the Garden of Eden story the first couple had a very straightforward contract which they understood fully: “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die’” (Genesis 3:2-3). The last few words quoted there show that foreclosure on their home was only the first – and not the worst – part of the penalty the first homeowners faced.
Fortunately for the human family, God realized that this chain of events would occur – that spiritual foreclosure was likely to happen – and as a result He set in motion a plan for recovery. We all know the basis of the plan: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). But that is really just the first part of the plan. Jesus himself spoke of the second step for foreclosure recovery in a new home: “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places … If I go away and prepare a place for you, I will come back and receive you to Myself, so that where I am you may be also” (John 14:2-3 HCSB). But we have to develop a new relationship with God in order to move past the old, voided, home contract and take advantage of the new one. Put simply, God wants totally remade tenants, remade homeowners for the new home He offers to those who want an eternally secure home with no foreclosure possible.
Physical home foreclosure can be a matter of great anguish, but whether we experience it physically or not, it can illustrate an important lesson about human life. We should be lastingly thankful for the ultimate foreclosure recovery plan that God has instituted for all who return to Him to claim it.