What the Proper Role for the Family, Community, and Nation Is in Fostering Prosperity

What the Proper Role for the Family, Community, and Nation Is in Fostering Prosperity The Garrett Ashley Mullet Show

I gather from Exodus that God is detail-oriented. For just one example, consider this bit:

“You shall command the people of Israel that they bring to you pure beaten olive oil for the light, that a lamp may regularly be set up to burn. In the tent of meeting, outside the veil that is before the testimony, Aaron and his sons shall tend it from evening to morning before the Lord. It shall be a statute forever to be observed throughout their generations by the people of Israel.”

This not to say, I think, that our God only deals in details. But it is to say He sometimes does.

And when God gets specific and particular in His instructions to us, we do well to see a value in those details. By His taking the time to get into them, and telling us they are important to Him, He has given them value, and we should agree.

As for why certain particular details matter in certain contexts, like when the oil for the light outside the veil that is before the testimony needs to be pure beaten olive oil, we may have to speculate when we don’t know. One thing is certain, however, that nothing God says or does is random or chaotic, since He is a God of order.

On the other hand, the Lord doesn’t always give us specifics. And when He doesn’t, we can’t just not make decisions.

What we can do, and really all we can do, is operate within the framework He has made. Minding our own business, keeping our head on a swivel, studying His Word, seeking godly counsel, we go to Him asking for wisdom where we lack it, but otherwise presume freedom and liberty where He has given us guidelines and principles without particular executables.

As the psalmist writes in the the first chapter of Psalms, I believe we should take our cues:

“Blessed is the man

who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,

nor stands in the way of sinners,

nor sits in the seat of scoffers;

but his delight is in the law of Yahweh,

and on his law he meditates day and night.”

The Proper Role

The psalmist says this man is blessed. That is, he increases, and derives a benefit. Thus, I want us to consider a certain question in light of these realizations, as the third entry in the Alliance for Responsible Citizenry survey has come to my attention in recent weeks.

“What is the proper role for the family, the community, and the nation in creating the conditions for prosperity?”

To answer this query, consider how the man in Psalm 1, who meditates on the law of Yahweh day and night, is said to prosper in everything he does.

That must mean that when this man applies his hand to the task of raising a family, he prospers; when he rolls up his sleeves to serve his community, he prospers; and when he commits to serving his country, he prospers.

Conversely, the psalmist succinctly assures us that the wicked are not so. Instead, they are like chaff that the wind drives away. And elsewhere in Psalms and Proverbs we read similar metaphors and analogies to what will happen to the wicked who scoff and sin.

For instance, the wicked flee when no one is pursuing them.

By contrast, the righteous are “bold as a lion.” And that is another way of saying that the righteous stay after it, and persevere, and endure, and keep at it.

This is of the utmost importance when talking about the need for men to lead families, communities, and nations. And here I say men in particular because it has always been men who must take the initiative, and the lion’s share of the work casting visions, providing, and protecting, humanly speaking.

Family and Social Fabric

Thus, the proper role for the family is to provide for and protect its members at as local a level as possible, with fathers especially, and mothers as well, feeding, clothing, housing, training, and teaching their children, plus helping extended family members in times of need.

Downstream of this, the proper role of the community is to protect and promote the conditions in which individual families are able to promote mutually beneficial flourishing alongside one another. Families need communities to form, belong to, and build together; but you cannot have strong communities without first having good families to combine their efforts in proximity and neighborship.

Just so, the proper role of the nation is to protect and promote the conditions for success for all its contained communities. You cannot have a strong nation without first having strong communities which combine, just as you cannot have a strong community without first having strong families.

In sum, then, the purpose of each of these is to support the Dominion Mandate – to be fruitful and multiply, fill the Earth and subdue it – with God’s image-bearers, mankind, male and female.

Therefore, the general expectation should be that young men and young women marry and have children, forming households and starting families. When they do this well, in cooperation and closeness to other households and families, we get good communities; and when lots of communities bind themselves together in solidarity, commerce, and common defense, we get strong nations.

Since the beginning, it has always been so, and cannot be sustained otherwise.

What harms the family, then? That thing weakens the community and nation. But you cannot start with the nation, and sacrifice the family or community to get a strong one. You must start with the family, and work your way up to a strong community comprised of good families; thereafter, you scale up again to get a prosperous country.

Those who argue to the contrary are either mistaken, or else greedy for unjust gain at the expense of their countrymen.

Here again, the critical importance of men as providers and protectors of their families enters into the equation, and the very goodness of heads of households, towns, cities, and states confronting those who would prey on their charges will show itself in due time, as we subordinate all our judgments, by God’s grace, to the goodness and wisdom of God’s Word.

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