Wednesday, January 16, 2013

ECONOMY

I write for the monthly writer's magazine called FreeXpresSion. The following is a recent article I wrote for that mag:
http://www.freexpression.com.au/monthly_writers_magazine.html
 
The economy in the Garden of Eden was robust. Adam and Eve had perfect health and wealth, that is, until they rebelled against the establishment. The opening chapter of the Bible starts from an outer-space perspective and then focuses on the planet earth. Details of how and with what the Creator populated it are given in general terms. The second chapter zooms-in on the planet earth, then on Eden, and then onto the Garden in Eden. Certain specifics are given about where to find gold, ‘Havilah, where there is gold. And the gold of that land is good. Bdellium and the onyx stone are there’ Genesis 2:11b-12. The clear intention is that Adam and Eve and their offspring are to utilise these and other resources for the creation of wealth to the glory of God. However, Adam and Eve became involved in the revolution that attempted to overthrow the established order with the result that any wealth would be gained only by ‘the sweat of your face’ Genesis 3:19. One gets the impression that before the Fall there was easy access to raw materials and precious commodities (e.g., Ezekiel 28:13), perhaps as in the words from the old Bob Dylan song, ‘I saw a highway of diamonds with nobody on it…’ However, since the Fall, and particularly since the global Flood, we have had to dig and drill to build our economies. Even in the ‘Promised Land’ the nation’s wealth would only come through effort,  ‘For the LORD is bringing you to a good land … a land whose stones are iron and out of whose hills you can dig copper’ Deuteronomy 8:9b.
Western economies tend to be based on gold held in reserve. However, the general trend is toward wealth through borrowing and by fiat – if your nation needs money simply print more! Most Middle Eastern economies tend to be built on oil (which Western economies cannot do without.) There was perhaps some oil around before the Deluge produced coal and oil in great abundance and buried underground the precious stones. E.g., Noah was to cover the ark ‘inside and out with pitch’ Genesis 6:14. It is possible that this ‘pitch’ was manufactured from tree resin. However, we do know that there were tar pits not long after the flood into which some of the enemies of the wealthy Abraham fell, ‘Now the valley of Siddim was full of asphalt pits; and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled; some fell there…’ Genesis 14:10a. Many Western nations are rich in oil resources. However, rather than make it easier for companies to drill for more oil, they choose instead to buy from the Middle Eastern nations at inflated prices. This causes a great drain and strain on Western economies –especially during cold months. However, Norway is a good exception. Its economy, based on its own oil, is flourishing!
The Bible has had a major influence on Western economies through men such as John Calvin (1509-64), whose Biblical teachings on economics greatly influenced Adam Smith. Adam Smith (1723-90) is often regarded as the founder of modern economics. He established ‘theories of labour, distribution, wages, prices, and money, and advocat[ed] free trade and minimal state interference in economic matters’ (Oxford English Reference Dictionary). In the 1930s John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946) helped move Western nations away from the Calvinistic approach of keeping a balanced budget to the more Socialistic idea of borrowing capital simply to sustain employment.
The wealth of the nations’ belongs to Christ! His City is adorned with all kinds of precious stones: jasper, sapphire, chalcedony, emerald, sardonyx, sardius, chrysolite, beryl, topaz, chrysoprase, jacinth, and amethyst. The twelve gates were twelve pearls: each individual gate was of one pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass ... And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honour into it … And they shall bring the glory and the honour of the nations into it’ Revelation 21:18-21; 26-27. Entrance is gained by repenting and believing in the Gospel!

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