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Bible Studies
Written by Jim Jordal   
Wednesday, 24 August 2016


By Jim Jordal

I, the Lord, have called You in righteousness, And will hold Your hand;  I will keep You, And give You as a covenant to the people, As a light to the Gentiles, To open the blind eyes, To bring out prisoners from the prison, Those who sit in darkness from the prison house…                                                                    Isaiah 42:6-7 NKJV

Human kind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.                                            Chief Seattle of the Duwamish, 1786-1866

Only when the last tree had died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realize that we can’t eat money.               Cree proverb

The sordid history of America’s Westward expansion parallels the accounts of indigenous people the world over who have been robbed, lied to, enslaved, tortured, killed, and subjugated in as many ways as it’s possible to imagine---all in the name of gold, empire and dominion.

And it’s not just people, but the entire physical earth that suffers under the onslaught of empire-building. Natural disasters like earthquakes, hurricanes, flood, fires and tornadoes are frightening indicators of the extent of human depredations upon the planet. But nothing seems to reach below the human patina of greed, arrogance, cruelty and simple stupidity that pervades the political/economic scene today. The deniers of such dangerous phenomena as global warming, species extinction, and invasions of strange species still maintain sufficient power to frustrate attempts at change---and we continue to select them for political and economic leadership positions.

Somewhere in Western cultural/religious history there is a continuing flaw so great as to now threaten human civilization. The flaw (some call it original sin; I prefer outrageous arrogance) has always existed, but lacked sufficient power to expand globally. Not so today, because we now have the capability to destroy the earth and its peoples many times in many ways. Yet we continue on in our massive arrogance and endless greed as if there were no tomorrow. But God says there is an outcome to all this activity, and that we are in its throes as we see nations crumbling, violence becoming common-place, and the political, economic social institutions we have created shaking themselves to pieces.

But this disastrous tale didn’t have to be, had leaders been more cognizant of the demands of universal justice and decency. Many early American leaders believed that God had ordained their conquest of the wilderness, and that they were doing God a favor by subjugating the godless Native Americans. So exterminating the buffalo that constituted the main part of the diet of aboriginal hunters was a service to God, was it not?

If you ever visit the Crazy Horse monument in South Dakota’s Black Hills you will no doubt visit the hall in which hang portraits of major Native American tribal leaders. The artist captured for us the pathos, suffering, and noble character of these men, most of whom did nothing more than attempt to save their people from the rapacious onslaughts of their conquerors---generally the American army, traders, and adventurers.

Let’s accept the sincerity of these dominators that God had given them this wilderness. But did they have to destroy everything in it? Was it not possible to share the largesse of what God had provided? Could we not have traded knowledge and peacetime goods for the virgin land we coveted?

Yes, it could have been vastly different had we known and practiced the broad concept of Jubilee, one of which is that God owns the earth and we are not to dominate and destroy it, but to conserve and protect God’s blessings.

The opportunity to employ the laws of Jubilee is coming around again as it becomes ever more clear that the earth and its peoples cannot sustain the greed and arrogance of humans and their creations aimed only at making money. As Revelation 18:11-13 so clearly shows, Babylon (God’s name for the great commercial/financial domination system now enslaving humanity) has gold, silver, and precious stones at the top of its list of what is valuable,  and at the bottom the bodies and souls of men.