As we reviewed the Old Testament teaching in previous blogs, we find that God mentored the Hebrew people to be prosperous. As Christians today we value this heritage given to them and we can claim it as our own. The Hebrews were mentored by God to have a prosperous way of thinking or I would say a prosperous soul; and this way of thinking developed the principles of capitalism, although they had to be blended with social values.
In the way of review, according to Harold Eberle’s book Compassionate Capitalism – A Judeo Christian Value, all of the following were included:
- The belief in One God
- Sense of identity of being created in God’s image
- Personal responsibility to manage themselves and the earth
- Individual Freedom
- Ownership of land and personal property
- The Fear of God
- Resting one day a week
- Strong family relationships
- Enjoying the fruit of one’s labor
- Giving tithes and offerings
- Care for the orphans, widows and the poor
- Making and keeping covenants (agreements)
- Time is linear, society is advancing
- Planning for the future.
- Leaving an inheritance for your descendants
- Frugality and saving
- Different people get different rewards depending on their effort and wisdom
- Developing a sense of capital separate from themselves
As Harold Eberle says, “Jewish culture was filled with thoughts of submitting to God by giving tithes and offerings, along with caring for one’s family and compassion for the poor. There was an expectation that people could not live selfishly accumulating wealth with no regard for the people around them. They were allowed and expected to prosper according to their own labors, but they had to be a contributing member of their own community.”
This builds a platform to study what the New Testament says about economics and finance.