Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries2 Minutes

History is filled with economic ups and downs. Times of prosperity alternating with hardship. And there have been many causes of these transitions.

In his book about civilization, British historian Kenneth Clark described how tulips provided one of the more unlikely causes of economic disruption. “The first classic example of boom and slump in capitalist economy” was not “sugar or railways or oil, but tulips.”

Tulips first were grown in Asia and the Mediterranean region. The Encyclopedia Britannica notes that the garden tulip was introduced into western Europe from Constantinople in the sixteenth century and soon achieved great popularity. Interest in tulip growing mounted, especially in Holland, where it developed by 1634 into a craze called “tulipomania,” which led to “wild speculation.”

So valuable were tulips that one person actually exchanged one single bulb (called the “Viceroy”) for “one thousand pounds of cheese, four oxen, eight pigs, twelve sheep, a bed, and a suit of clothes.” But, in 1637, “the bottom fell out of the tulip market.” As a result, “the Dutch economy was shaken and many people went bankrupt.” The crisis only was ended when the government decided to regulate the tulip trade.

Today, our world economy goes up and down based on things like oil, gold, and technology. Yet many people fail to realize that all things are unstable. That things that are valuable today can become commonplace or even useless tomorrow. All our work and efforts can achieve nothing of substance or eternal value.

In your life, seek to be freed from the trends and traps that occupy the world. Place your hope and trust in God. Praise Him for Jesus’ death, burial, and Resurrection. And invest your time, talent, and treasure in something that will last, and increase in value: His Kingdom.