The Story of Oil, Gold, and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

by Tim on October 22, 2012

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Two college roommates graduated and each started on their career paths.  One became a successful business owner and made a good income while the other was much less successful and could barely hold a job for more than a year at a time.

The two of them hadn’t seen each other for twenty years and ended up crossing paths at a café, so they had lunch together.  During their meal, the successful business owner shared how he had grown his business and had become well off financially.  The ‘less-successful’ roommate also shared his story and how he too became financially successful.

A bit surprised by his roommate’s claims, the successful business owner asked what business opportunities made him so wealthy. 

The roommate explained that fifteen years earlier, he was asking God what he should do financially.  He then opened his Bible and blindly placed his finger on the first page that fell open.  The word under his finger said ‘oil’ and he took it as a sign to invest in oil.  He ended up making millions with his investment and decided to open his Bible again.  This time his finger landed on the word ‘gold’ and he made the decision to invest in gold.  He also did well with his investments and attributed his wealth to these instances.


The successful businessman was shocked and also impressed as they left the café that day.  He was determined to seek the same investment advice as his roommate, so when he went home he opened his Bible, flipped open the pages and blindly placed his finger on a page.  When he opened his eyes, he was shocked to see the words: CHAPTER 13. 

A Challenge: Study Scripture Purposefully

Sometimes we treat the Bible like a daily horoscope or fortune cookie and look to it for a quick answer instead of studying the scriptures and seeking God in prayer.  The story above is obviously a tall-tale – one can hardly expect that someone would make investment or chapter 13 bankruptcy decisions by opening the scriptures and placing a finger on a random word.

So when it comes to you devotions, are you randomly opening the Word of God and reading the first thing that you see?  Instead, try studying the scriptures more deeply and spend time in prayer and reflection after reading God’s Word.

For a deeper understanding on some Biblical perspectives on finance, consider reading some of the articles in our Bible and Money section.

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