Economics. I apologise for the delay in posting. The truth is that the word “economics” makes me yawn so you can imagine that I wasn’t particularly enthusiastic about writing this blog. However, I had committed a few blogs back to writing a brief post on each of the Spheres of Society and this included one on economics. Not one to back down from a task, I have finally mustered myself up to do the task.
And what was the result? To be inspired once again by the Word of God. (You might have noticed that this is the first of two blogs for the sphere of economics).
Only God could make economics appeal to me! When I hear the word, I think of phrases such as “global economy” and “economic future”. They sound intimidating, bringing to mind concepts about national and international data that I doubt I will ever come to comprehend. My Dad is good with understanding how global economies relate to you, me, and our nations – but I didn’t inherit that gene.
If you were blessed with such genetic make-up, I praise God for you and pray that you will use your understanding to further His Kingdom. Please search the pages of your Bible for information on godly economic principles and seek to bring them into practice – however that works out in your life and on whichever scale, even if it’s a small one.
If you’re like me, and do not have an interest in the greater-reaching implications of economy, I still encourage you to consider this sphere and what you can learn of it in the Bible. Why? Because God will redefine your view of “the economy” as you do, just as He has done for me. Scripture talks about money and finance in abundance and there is a reason for it. God’s Word does give principles to be applied to national and global economies, but it focuses more at the individual and local level.
Let’s look at an example from the Pentateuch:
Deut 15:1-11 Consider: What was God saying to Israel?
- Debt has a timeframe
- Cyclical phase with debt; cancellation of debt
- Limited debt between brothers
- Brothers not to be enslaved
- Leads to balance; not extreme poverty beside extreme wealth
- Prevents national debt – if they keep getting more and more in debt as individuals, then the national economy will collapse
- No national debt maintains the nations freedom
- Commitment to having no poor amongst them
- Poverty comes from disobedience to God’s Law
- The lending was to be sufficient for his need; not too much or too little
- Responsibility on the lender and the borrower to ensure that the money given will be able to be paid back within the 7 years
- Both parties need to plan ahead
- There will be poverty if there aren’t limits to your debt
- This has application for today in the area of good business planning
- It is a sin not to provide for a poor brother or to provide grudgingly
- One needed to give willingly
- Open lending; but not stupid lending
- It was an individuals’ responsibility to care for the poor in their society
What to consider when studying economics in Scripture?
Here are some questions to ask as you study:
- What is the main goal of business?
- What does quality of life look like?
- How can a nation ensure that everyone has enough?
- How do you go about job creation for all in the community?
- What is a “gleaning” today, in modern businesses?
- Why will there always be poor?
Below is a list of subtopics to consider:
- Workers’ rights
- National economy
- Individual responsibility
- Land management/ agricultural principles
- Aid versus economy
- Building infrastructure
(The second blog on economy will look at three specific questions that are contemporary topics of discussion).