I have been gifted a work by Walter Brueggemann, “Sabbath as Resistance: Saying NO to the CULTURE OF NOW.” In his preface he speaks of “A distinct faith identity in the midst of a culture that is inhospitable” to anything that reduces “the requirements of the market.” A few pages on he talks about “the system of commodity” which requires that “we want more, have more, own more, use more, eat more, and drink more.” This is the biblical definition of “greed” or covetousness which Paul called idol worship [Colossians 3:5].
This led me to a greater understanding of the first of the ten commandments. “You shall have no other gods before me” [Exodus 20:3]. Before in Hebrew might be better translated beside, in addition to, being preeminent above. What might confuse us was the word other. It would have been simpler had the Lord said, “You shall serve me, only!” But as unavoidably clear as that is, we need to know that the market place is another god!
What was God saying? Ask any woman about her husband’s girlfriend. God has from the beginning seen Himself as a husband to Israel [Hosea 2:16]. What might we think the word unfaithfulness means in this context [Leviticus 26:40 NKJV]?
The remaining commandments can be understood in this light. Replacing a worship for God with a inordinate affection [greed] for the market place leads to all sorts of corruption culminating in envy, which leads to theft and adultery, and which can—and does—lead to murder—the ultimate “cover up.” And obviously, to saunter down this path means that first we have owned a total disregard for family—mom and dad, hopefully, our first source of wisdom.
How do we avoid this precipice? Well, gather together 1 day in 7 to worship God and fellowship with men and women of like mind. For 1 day in 7 we can “fast” the malls and the soccer fields. I remember the first Sunday night I had to preach while my team was playing in the Super Bowl! I survived.
I just finished reading Carol Roth’s book on a well-thought out plan by the government, along with the coastal elites, to transfer all personal wealth from Main street to Wall street. [A must read!] In “You Will Own Nothing” Ms Roth, a “recovering” investment banker; entrepreneur … and a New York Times bestselling author, alerts us of this ultimate power grab, which I think we must admit that we saw coming. To quote John Locke, “I have no reason to suppose that he, who would take away my Liberty, would not when he had me in his Power, take away everything else.”
We can and should take steps to be economically responsible toward family as well as pushback on an undeniable evil that wants to control us by impoverishing us. But does this contradict what we just said?
The best thing we could do to counter such an assault on our personal well-being is go to church!!! Separate out one day per week for God. Fast the media and find a renewed interest in prayer which will prove in more ways than one—our salvation.
Said another way, Whatever they take, don’t let them take your faith [Luke 18:8].