The Christian Adventure......

Proverbs 27:17

Proverbs 27:17

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Acts 2:44 (Daily Verse and Comment)

  Acts 2:44

(44) Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, 
New King James Version   Change your email Bible version

While some try to see a biblical basis for socialism in the experience of the early church, the overwhelming perspective of the Bible upholds private property rights. As early as Abraham (Genesis 23:17-18), God's people are shown buying and selling all manner of property. Moreover, the laws God gave to Israel concerning property assume individual ownership - indeed, one could say that the tenth commandment (Exodus 20:17:"You shall not covet your neighbor's house," etc.) makes property ownership a sacred right. Each person is to be satisfied with what God has blessed him and not crave what his neighbor owns.

Bits of biblical property law appear throughout the Old Testament, as in Deuteronomy 19:14: "You shall not remove your neighbor's landmark, which the men of old have set, in your inheritance which you will inherit in the land. . . ." Simply put, each individual or family owned specific plots of land whose boundaries were not to be violated. God later promises terrible retribution on Judah for doing just this: "The princes of Judah are like those who remove a landmark; I will pour out My wrath on them like water" (Hosea 5:10).

A main feature of the Jubilee was the repossession of land by its original owner, even if he had been forced to sell it due to debt in the intervening years (Leviticus 25:13-17). God set down rather strict rules regarding the sale and purchase of family lands so that Israelite society would have its base in individually owned properties that remained within families through inheritance. For example, when Ahab pressures Naboth to give him his vineyard, the Jezreelite responds, "The LORD forbid that I should give the inheritance of my fathers to you!" (I Kings 21:3). After Naboth is dead through Jezebel's machinations, and Ahab has taken possession of the vineyard, God harshly condemns their blatant abuse of authority, cursing them to ignominious deaths (verses 17-24).

In the New Testament account of Ananias and Sapphira's sin, Peter voices the basic, biblical principle of private property ownership: "While it [their land] remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it [the profit] not in your own control?" (Acts 5:4). Even while the brethren "had all things in common" (Acts 4:32), private property rights were not set aside. The entire New Testament operates under this view, to the point that the Mark of the Beast involves abolishing true Christians' right to buy and sell (Revelation 13:17).

God believes in ownership: "For the world is Mine, and all its fullness" (Psalm 50:12). He allows us to own things under Him to teach us wonderful lessons pertaining to stewardship and authority so that we can learn to be more like Him and eventually exercise great responsibility in His Kingdom (see the Parable of the Minas in Luke 19:11-27). Sadly, the ever-weakening right to property in this nation is another state of affairs that exposes just how far America has drifted from God and biblical principles.

— Richard T. Ritenbaugh

No comments:

Post a Comment