29 Devise not evil against thy neighbour, seeing he dwelleth securely by thee.
30 Strive not with a man without cause, if he have done thee no harm.
I don’t know if I’m reading this correctly, but that first verse seems to say that we should not plan evil against our neighbor who is living securely. This makes me think of envy and resentment towards those who are better off than we are. They have done no harm to us, but we plan to do them harm because it creates a sense of equity or justice in our mind (I speak from the perspective of a person who is envious or resentful of the success or security of others).
We could tie this idea into the previous scripture about doing good to others when we have the power to do so. This turns my mind towards current events within politics and economics—of which I am no expert—but I will write of these things from a standpoint of Christian ideas.
It is better for a Christian country if those who have abundance learn to willingly and happily give to those in need than it is for the government to force that generosity upon them. When giving becomes robbery, then those who have abundance become resentful towards the poor.
A Christian in poverty is instructed to trust in the Lord and learn to be content with what they are given. Afterall, God provides for the birds and He provides for us also. We will have what we need, and being greedy, covetous, and envious of the wealth of others is not the Christian way. Seeking the Kingdom of God and growing rich in Him is better than the wealth of this world, which often fuels sin and distracts a person from what’s most important for a Christian.
However, in Christ we are working together for the good of all. Having wealth is a blessing if we take care of others and are strong enough in the faith that wealth does not distract us from the Kingdom of Heaven. Having poverty is a blessing for those who need to trust in the Lord or who would become ensnared by the riches of the world.
In a land of plenty in which Christians who do well distribute of their own free will, there will be no poverty. In a land of plenty in which the poor are willing to work and make things better for themselves instead of robbing the rich because of greed, envy, and resentment, there will be no poverty. In a land in which the truly destitute—the widows, the orphans, the handicap—are cared for by those who have abundance, there will be no poverty.
As with all things, problems inevitably result when man attempts to regulate righteousness by law. It does not matter whether you have Capitalism, Socialism, Communism, or Marxism. Man corrupts all. In Jesus, regulation is of the heart. Regulation is of the individual who is turned to the true and righteous ways of God instead of the greed, envies, murders, and strife of man.
Are we still a Christian society? Do the people still rule this government? Of course, if we were to resist taxation of robbery, then many people would starve. There would be an uproar. So, it is no easy thing to fix and I expect it will not be solved until Jesus returns and enforces righteous giving and willingness to give, work and find contentment on an individual level (at least, that’s what I think He would do).
In any case, those who have abundance should thank the Lord and give when they can.
Those who do not have abundance should thank the Lord that we live in a prosperous land in which each person has the right to pursue more if they are able and willing to work. Those who do not have abundance should not be envious and resentful of those who have more. They should not devise evil plans against them.
We see evil plans devised against the prosperous today from those who want more, more, more without contentment and self-responsibility, who blame others and rob those who worked hard to achieve wealth in this world.
All this does is breed resentment on both sides. All this does is lead to more robbery, more unwillingness to work, more unwillingness to become self-accountable and self-reliable, less willingness to give freely, and more poverty for everyone—both poverty in this world and poverty in spirit—of a sort that does not seek to be filled by God but instead hates their fellow man for their poverty.
We are heading down a deadly path in which unjust rulers will come with their “solutions” of murder, unjust scales, poverty, and death.
Do not think for a moment that we as Christians are not to blame. Our Christian nation did foolishly. Very foolishly. If we do not fix this mess somehow, the Lord will. He will tear it all down.
Even so, God does not leave us nor forsake us. He will, however, tear down our futile attempts at doing what is right by law and according to the foolishness of man. He will tear down our systems of robbery, greed, envy, murder, and strife.
Many will suffer as a result, but those who trust in Jesus will find everything they need. It is worth noting that what we need is often not what we want. We might need to die and be raised from the dead. In any case, the judgement of God is just, and it is coming.
I believe this to be true, but I am growing aware of how God created my mind to work. I think in large, abstract ideas so sometimes I overlook important details. You’ve heard of people who miss the forest for the trees. I miss the trees for the forest. I also think a lot and pray about things, which can lead to assumptions of being right when I could be mistaken. So, consider for yourself.
Am I prone to envy towards those who have more than I do? I have felt that. Am I prone to a sense of entitlement when I see someone who has more than me? I have thought those things. Do I resist giving to those in need when I have abundance? I don’t think so, but I’ve not been tempted with great wealth. Do I trust in Jesus to provide for my needs? I am learning. What might His Kingdom be like? How might He handle this? What goodness might we have to look forward to when our ways come crashing down and His are established? I will be thinking on these things today.
As an aside, whenever I mention the coming of the Lord and the throwing down of unrighteous rulers, I want to call certain Christian ideas and scripture into remembrance lest we welcome the false Christ as our God and Savior:
Jesus will not come at just any time. The wicked one—the abomination of desolation—must be revealed first (2 Thessalonians 2). The false Christ will come before Jesus does, and great tribulation such has never been seen on this earth will come before Jesus does (Mark 13). Our ways are making hearts ready to receive such a person, system, and false Christianity. If it were possible, even the chosen would be deceived (Matthew 24). The Lord will keep us from being taken, but we need to keep seeking Him now (Matthew 25).