01 December 2021
Everything is personal.
When it comes to God's Law on property, it's nearly impossible to do very much. Your Covenant duties are a matter of desire first, and performance second, because you can't always control all the factors in this world. This issue is where a holy desire is about all you can manage. It's complicated by the radical difference in orientation.
This is where the West is most truculent against divine revelation. We've already established that Creation itself is feudal. Insofar as Westerners think of it, they get it backwards. Western feudalism is all about land and facilities, and people are part of the real estate. It shows up in today's corporate outlook, with terms like "human resources." It shows up in the way the State treats all citizens as nothing more than economic resources. The impersonal institution is god, whether it be government or corporation.
All biblical covenants are feudal. Covenant feudalism is all about the people, and everything else is fungible. If a sheikh can keep his people alive and healthy, he can recover from even the most catastrophic property loss. God always provides, and that's a critical element in the basic assumptions of life. Everything is personal and everyone belongs to or serves someone else. When a Hebrew defends turf, it's a matter of his personal commitment to defending the reputation and sovereignty of his lord, and ultimately of his God. Nothing in Creation can be impersonal.
Thus, in the Hebrew mind all of Creation is person and personal. All things have desires that echo God's will, except fallen humanity. Humans still have desires, but they are dangerous without divine redemption and guidance. There is no concept for inert matter. There can be no such thing as total mastery of property; it's all on loan from God. Your first duty in all things is to render faithful stewardship to Him.
And the greatest gift of God in this world is people. A man's true treasure is those for whom the Lord has made him responsible. So every thought and act is aimed at blessing the people first, as this is how a man blesses himself. This is in his own best interest regardless of context. It's not a question of how people can bless him through the value of their time and skills. Those things have their place, but it's the stewardship of their human existence that is a man's primary duty to God. A man's domain is his people; they are property in the sense that he owns them on loan from God as a provision for divine glory.
The Western way dehumanizes and depersonalizes everything. There is no place for personal loyalty. Any person's value is calculated on the basis of material contribution. There is no god and dominion rests entirely on ownership of physical assets. Thus, personnel are valuable only as they contribute to physical assets. Every other consideration is just an artificial overlay, a matter of being polite so that your assets don't suffer loss. People are to be manipulated, not loved.
The Hebrew concept of covenant is a matter of duty to God regarding people. In the West, this is very poorly replaced by contract, which is a mere obligation of materials and performance; people are fungible. That's an abomination to God.
By God's Law, a human endeavor must first and foremost bless the tribe. It's not a question of profit and finance; it's the living treasure of people under your care. The shepherd has no significant personal profit aside from the tribe. He is personally accountable for the people and their welfare, regardless what they can produce. If there is any economic activity at all, it is for the sake of the tribe. So a man would start a business and seek to employ his own family first; nepotism is a virtue. The tribe gets all the good jobs first. And his partners cannot simply invest resources; they are obliged to put their hands to the work in some way or they are not permitted to hold any interest in the operation. A loan is person to person; it assumes the borrower serves the lender. Collateral must be real property owned individually by the borrower.
Side note: God can grant economic growth without debt. That's included in the shalom promises. Growth might be slow, but debt is by no means necessary. Business debt indicates that something is broken in the context.
But in any economic endeavor, the goal is maximum employment of your own tribe. It's not about efficiency and profit, but profit in terms of blessing the lives of the tribe. It's all about shalom. It's not about accounting for all the man-hours and resource inputs, and the physical assets. You would surely keep track of those things, but the ultimate value is not bankable profit, but human welfare.
Anybody can give lip service to such ideals, and that's the typical propaganda. Making these teachings the focus of your moral character is another matter entirely. It means ditching Western Civilization and embracing a wholly different orientation. For example, the concept of an impersonal corporate entity is an abomination to God. Under the Covenant, all property is personal. At the same time, all property is a feudal grant from someone higher. Ultimately, that higher authority is God. Every human serves someone else, and is accountable to God for personal loyalty. You cannot serve an ideal; that's just idolatry in disguise.
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