Of the many perspectives normally used to create an apologetic for the existence and reality of the God of the Bible, one that is frequently overlooked is the field of economics. But just as the heavens declare His glory, so does the marketplace. There is, in fact, vast economic evidence that points the seeker, the skeptic, the Jew, the Gentile, the poor, and the rich alike to the reality of God Almighty—the One who boldly and unilaterally claims not only to have created all things but also to sustain all things.
In my new book, Economic Evidence for God: Uncovering the Invisible Hand That Guides the Economy, I examine various Biblical economic principles and promises. I discuss how they are practiced or ignored and look at the known outcomes, asking if you can see the One who gave us those truths. As you press into the evidence, it will become more and more exciting as you begin to see the world and even your own economic activity through an entirely new perspective.
“The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.” —Genesis 2:15 ESV
The God who humbly, yet astonishingly, claimed that He alone created the world and everything in it, including its inhabitants, picked—as the starting point of human existence—a garden. The simplicity of this location may at first seem unremarkable, but don’t miss it.
A garden, regardless of its size, is a manufacturing marvel to behold. If you have ever worked the soil and grown your own food, you quickly learn many things that are remarkable about the multiplication factors of plants. The production of a garden is more than capable of feeding not only the gardener but also the gardener’s family and neighbors alike!
My wife and I have a small garden. One season, she planted a corner of our plot with sweet potatoes (like yams). While we fought the weeds all season to keep them from robbing the seeds of the water and nutrition they needed to grow, we harvested over 110 lbs. of sweet potatoes that lasted us all year and that we were able to share with friends and family! We saw the reality of God in the process.
In Danger of Extinction?
“The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.” —Genesis 2:15 ESV
One of the lies we are told is that our world is overpopulated with greedy consumers who will devour or destroy the resources of the Earth. According to the doomsayers, we are in danger of extinction—and soon! The blindness of these prognosticators of gloom comes from the fact that they do not acknowledge that God created man to work, produce, and multiply the world’s resources.
The truth is, you were created in God’s image, and He is a worker. Humans were created to be producers. We work and multiply what God entrusts to us. This activity is fruitful. We are filling the world with more people, food, products, services, and resources to sustain our existence.
We live in a world dominated by scientism, a view that places faith in the scientific method, considers science the highest form of truth, and discounts anything contrary to what can be “proven.” However, there is a long list of revolutionary breakthroughs that have changed the world—from scientists who did not believe in scientism. For example, some of the greatest scientists of all time are Michael Faraday, Matthew Maury, Nikola Tesla, and George Washington Carver. Remarkably, they each believed in a God capable of supernatural miracles; their faith in God led the way to their discoveries.
The term supernatural simply means that the occurrence does not exist in nature or is not subject to explanation according to natural laws. While this may seem unfair, it should come as good news to you. If God is who He claims to be, He can make the rules or supersede them as He wishes. And for those who have trusted Him, He has illuminated their minds with practical ideas leading to advancements that have brought blessing to all mankind.
The First Commandment
In the context of the First Commandment, cultures can be generally classified into one of four constructs. Governments and economic systems spring from each of these cultural practices, and the results are revealing.
God is the Invisible Hand that makes human flourishing possible. It is Him who established both the standards of freedom and the virtuous behavior necessary for markets to grow in a healthy, sustainable manner that blesses the world.
The most successful economies in the world have an underlying culture that worships the God who promises to set them free. The promises of God bring His goodness to the world through the contributions of millions of individual stewards who operate according to the Bible’s clear teaching.
The Marriage Premium
“Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.’” —Genesis 2:18 ESV
Monogamous marriage is evidence for the God of the Bible. Nations where monogamous marriage vows are a part of the predominant religious, cultural expectation have much higher economic growth than nations that do not embrace the Biblical view of marriage.
Since the first marriage in Genesis 2:18, this process of union between man and woman has continued throughout time. And when closely examined, the evidence proves that the “marriage premium” is real. What we believe about God impacts our sexual behavior, our decision to enter marriage, and our commitment to remain married— which impacts our economic flourishing. This is true on a macro and micro level in study after study.
God designed the institution that ends our loneliness, makes us more prosperous, and provides stability for families to be created and nourished. It is an apologetic for the reality of God. There is no other explanation as to why this union of man and woman is a universal behavior of mankind except that God made it that way.
“For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.” —Deuteronomy 7:6 ESV
The Jews are a relatively tiny part of the temporary residents of planet Earth. Yet they have a disproportionate contribution to economics and other world-changing impacts. Your life and my life have been radically impacted by Jewish innovators in all fields of endeavor.
The list of titans in almost every sector of the economy is stunning. Here are a few examples: Albert Einstein (Physics), Stephen Spielberg (Film), Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook/Instagram), Barbara Streisand (Music), Milton Friedman (Economics), Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Law), Henry Bloch (Taxes), Howard Schultz (Coffee/Starbucks), Michael Dell (Computers), and Estee Lauder (Cosmetics).
Many will ask, how can it be that God has blessed Israel—the nation—and the Jewish people when history records blatant violations of the conditions God required of them. My reply is the same as why I believe I have experienced His blessings despite my sins, failures, and foolish defiance of God at times in my life: He is a God of mercy and grace. Without question, I have suffered the consequences of many of my mistakes, but God has been kind as I have confessed, turned from my sins, and sought to walk in His ways—not my own.
Others have tried to wrongly justify the reason for Jewish prosperity apart from God, but I see no other rational explanation than His faithfulness to stand behind His promises.
Cancer of the Economy
Transparency International publishes an annual list of the most corrupt nations in the world based upon their definition and research. Corruption includes lying, bribery, extortion, embezzlement, fraud, favoritism, deceptive trade practices, and dishonest dealings. The nations with the highest levels of corruption have radically lower GDP than nations with low corruption levels. The truth is, corruption is economic cancer. It destroys people, families, churches, businesses, and nations.
Integrity, honesty, and good moral behavior are all essential factors that change economic dynamics positively. Even those who do not know God agree that some moral standards are essential. But if everyone has moral standards, the real question is, whose morals are the standard? We would be missing the most important point if we failed to look deeper and see God as the Source, Author, and Originator of the standards of behavior we desire in the world. The Bible established the moral framework that would lead to healthy, high-growth economies—the Ten Commandments.
“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” —Galatians 5:1 ESV
The Bible speaks extensively about Jesus Christ being the One who is the Author and Sustainer of freedom. Yet millions across the world today—Christians, Non-Christians, Americans, Non-Americans, Blacks, Whites, people from every tribe and tongue alike—continue to experience slavery in the form of financial bondage. I believe it is because they have not encountered the God who gave us the principles that lead to true freedom—the freedom that enables our ability to flourish and generously serve others.
Man’s Economy makes our needs or desires the main focus, but in God’s Economy, He is the main focus. Here are the five basic principles in God’s Economy:
Having spent the first 40 years of my life attempting to find meaning and purpose through success in Man’s Economy, I experienced a life-changing transformation when I discovered the reality that God is not only in control of the macroeconomy, but He is also in control of my economy—His principles are for me too.
Can You See Him?
People can be confronted with overwhelming evidence, be eyewitnesses to miracles, have all the necessary facts, and yet remain solidly convinced that God is not real, involved, or relevant. Faith always has been and remains the essential ingredient to knowing God. Evidence is best used not to attempt to prove the reality of God but rather to point to the reasonableness of placing our faith in Him. We don’t reason our way to knowing God; rather, we use reason to develop and strengthen our faith in God.
To more deeply explore the topics in this post and examine the evidence for yourself, I encourage you to read my new book, Economic Evidence for God: Uncovering the Invisible Hand That Guides the Economy. You will experience the reality of the God who created economic laws and principles to show Himself to us.
Once you’ve read it, I’d love to hear your feedback. You are invited to send your comments to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. My prayer is that your eyes will be opened to see Him—Jesus Christ, the One True King, the Great Liberator, the Great Reformer, the Great I Am.
About the Author
Chuck Bentley is CEO of Crown Financial Ministries, a global Christian ministry, founded by the late Larry Burkett. He is the host of a daily radio broadcast, My MoneyLife, featured on more than 1,000 Christian Music and Talk stations in the U.S., and author of his most recent book, Economic Evidence for God?. Be sure to follow Crown on Facebook.
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