Now the full number of those who believed … had everything in common. There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold and laid it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need.
Our world is plagued with economic instability. The specter of the Great Depression hangs over Presidents and nations. Even though measures have been taken to avoid a repeat, these seem to be nothing more than band-aids trying to keep an inflating balloon from bursting.
The world calls a healthy economy one with much movement. Whereas movement is a proof of life, one can still move and go in the wrong direction. A healthy economy should be one where everyone has enough, and more, without the use of oppression and slavery. Any economy based on credit and interest is based on economic oppression which God hates (Leviticus 25:17). Like an old farmer of an Eastern European country told me many years ago, “in our country, we don’t have much, but everybody has some’. On the other hand, a diseased economy is one that shows a polarization of wealth, where a very few have the very most, and the very most have the very least. The Anti-Messiah of the end will provoke such economy that he will use as a form of control of the masses and persecution of those who obey God’s commandments (Revelations 6:5-6; 12 and13).
There seem to be two major economic philosophies in the world. On the one side the ultra capitalistic system, and on the other side the ultra communistic way. Both seem to have good points and flaws, and both certainly use oppression, though in different forms. An ideal situation would be a merging of the good points of both, but politics and partisanship keep us from such wisdom.
The economic system of the Bible actually provides a good model. It is funny that people don’t want to use it. God teaches us an economy based on capital, but balanced by a social system of tithes and offerings which support both the religious community and the poor. Also, the system is to reboot every seven years with all debts being forgiven Leviticus 25), which creates an automatic re-balancing of wealth where no-one becomes too rich, and no-one becomes too poor. I believe this will be the system used in the World to Come when Messiah rules the earth. At that time, He will force money-lenders to forgive debts every seven years and thereby abolish economic oppression.
May it come soon Abba, even in our days!