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By Dr. Douglas F. Levesque, Founder of The Levesque Institute
While Bible advocates are admonished in Scripture to be good citizens, and pray for their civil authorities, there are equally as many pervasive admonitions given to those same authorities. In the United States of America such authority has always had this Biblical connotation of ‘public servant’. When our leaders fail they are subject to public scrutiny. When they purposely depart from proven, established and principled processes of governance they must also be subject to the critical eye from those they serve and represent.
Should we allow our executive to single handedly change our capital system of economics to the current Euro-centric, Hyper-feudalistic model? Is our President allowed to ‘own it all’?
Imagine this headline “Executive Branch uses Murder to Cover-Up Private Property Seizure.” Such a news story would be scandalous indeed; hearings would be started, impeachment would be called for, the courts would be convened, and confidence in government would falter. Such a news story may not be so far-fetched if the Constitution and free markets are killed in order to gain control over the wealth and assets of the citizenry.
Today, our Bible based economic heritage is being pulled up from underneath us. If only the Scripture had insight to offer us in this matter.
Modern day administrations are not the only ones with questionable motives. Ancient Israeli King Ahab (874-853 B.C.) felt he needed a particular parcel of land for a certain use, and in a certain proximity to his seat of government. The offer to swap parcels or purchase for cash was made to the owner, Naboth. He refused the kingly authority based upon several reasons. First, the land was a family inheritance. It was his economic heritage, and was not for sale. Second, the parcel was a working vineyard, and no doubt a profitable one. The practicality of its use was immeasurable to Naboth. And lastly, it was personally owned, and therefore within the will of the owner to keep or dispose with at his leisure. Ahab was bothered by the refusal. His queen and powerful aide, Jezebel, determined to acquire the property with an evil plan.
The present day lust for power, and evil inspired designs to steal our economic heritage may also be resisted. However, the consequences for Naboth were dire.
Abuse of Power
Naboth was singled out for ‘recognition’, put in the spotlight, then falsely accused. A false trial and illegitimate execution led to the death of the “capitalist”. His property was then seized and given to the king. Ahab had plausible deniability before his constituency, but not before Almighty God. I Kings chapter 21, tells of the Lord’s response through Elijah the prophet, “Thou has sold thyself to work evil in the sight of the LORD.”, and, “thou hast provoked me to anger and made Israel to sin.” (verse 20 & 22).
“Thou shalt not covet, steal and kill” remain as pillars of the law and part of ‘the Ten Commandments’. These are personal codes as well as national ones. They apply to citizens and kings, business owners and presidents. Though power is often abused, it is never without notice by our just lawgiver and divine purveyor of justice.
Opportunity to Do Right
King Ahab could not reverse the damage, but he did, “rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his flesh, and fasted, and lay in sackcloth, and went softly.” God saw his repentance and spared his life, but did not spare his progeny. II Kings chapters 9 and 10 tell of the ironic way in which Ahab’s son was killed and buried on the very parcel of land that was stolen. His son in law, plus 70 of his offspring were killed by a vengeful king Jehu who remembered the whole bloody theft from Naboth.
There is still an opportunity for our leadership to do the right thing. Return to a just free market and unpunished property ownership. If they do, perhaps mercy will be the order of the day; if not, justice will surely follow them into future generations. Let us pray that the unique economic attributes God has allowed us to prosper under may continue.