Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Biblical Family - a Trustee Family

In service, this morning, we had a very long reading from the Book of I Kings, and there is an important principal recorded in the reading. The principal was not addressed in the sermon, but my thoughts were filled with the principal throughout the service. The passage reads:

1 And it came to pass after these things that Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard which was in Jezreel, next to the palace of Ahab king of Samaria. 2 So Ahab spoke to Naboth, saying, “Give me your vineyard, that I may have it for a vegetable garden, because it is near, next to my house; and for it I will give you a vineyard better than it. Or, if it seems good to you, I will give you its worth in money.” 3 But Naboth said to Ahab, “The LORD forbid that I should give the inheritance of my fathers to you!” 4 So Ahab went into his house sullen and displeased because of the word which Naboth the Jezreelite had spoken to him; for he had said, “I will not give you the inheritance of my fathers.” And he lay down on his bed, and turned away his face, and would eat no food. 5 But Jezebel his wife came to him, and said to him, “Why is your spirit so sullen that you eat no food?” 6 He said to her, “Because I spoke to Naboth the Jezreelite, and said to him, ‘Give me your vineyard for money; or else, if it pleases you, I will give you another vineyard for it.’ And he answered, ‘I will not give you my vineyard.’” 7 Then Jezebel his wife said to him, “You now exercise authority over Israel! Arise, eat food, and let your heart be cheerful; I will give you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.” 8 And she wrote letters in Ahab’s name, sealed them with his seal, and sent the letters to the elders and the nobles who were dwelling in the city with Naboth. 9 She wrote in the letters, saying,

Proclaim a fast, and seat Naboth with high honor among the people; 10 and seat two men, scoundrels, before him to bear witness against him, saying, “You have blasphemed God and the king.” Then take him out, and stone him, that he may die. ...

15 And it came to pass, when Jezebel heard that Naboth had been stoned and was dead, that Jezebel said to Ahab, “Arise, take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, which he refused to give you for money; for Naboth is not alive, but dead.” 16 So it was, when Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, that Ahab got up and went down to take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite. 17 Then the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, 18 “Arise, go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, who lives in Samaria. There he is, in the vineyard of Naboth, where he has gone down to take possession of it. 19 You shall speak to him, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD: “Have you murdered and also taken possession?”’ And you shall speak to him, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD: “In the place where dogs licked the blood of Naboth, dogs shall lick your blood, even yours.”’”

20 So Ahab said to Elijah, “Have you found me, O my enemy?” And he answered, “I have found you, because you have sold yourself to do evil in the sight of the LORD: 21 ‘Behold, I will bring calamity on you. I will take away your posterity, and will cut off from Ahab every male in Israel, both bond and free. (I Kings 21:1-10; 15-21)

According to Carle Zimmerman, in his paper, Sociology of the Family, historically there have been three kinds of family, the Atomistic Family, the Domestic Family, and the Trustee Family. The Atomistic Family is the kind of family where each of the members lives his/her own life independently of the other members, and there is no commonly shared faith, culture or life.

The Domestic Family sees the family established in the headship of the Father, but the property and concern of the Father only extends to the establishment of the children in their own families; after which the parents indulge themselves in retirement, spending on themselves the accumulated wealth gathered over the lifetime of the Father. The children fend for themselves beyond the University degree, and the wedding ceremony.

On the other hand, the members of a Trustee Family are less important than the family, and the family extends back into the past, and forward into the future for hundreds/thousands of generations. This third kind of family is a Biblical Family. There may exist "Christian" Atomistic families, and there may exist "Christian" Domestic families, but only a Trustee family is a Biblical family, and only a Trustee family can be properly blessed by God.

The Trustee family looks back, and embraces the religion, the traditions, the wealth and property of past generations, and holds them in Trust. The family works to add to the inheritance and heritage of the past, and then carefully passes that inheritance and heritage to the emerging generations (that is the godly line, not the ungodly members), carefully instructing them in their duty to pass on all they have received, with added interest, to their children's children, looking forward to at least a thousand generations down the track.

The unfettered State is envious of the Trustee family and is an enemy of the Trustee family. In the story above, King Ahab, representing the State, lusted after the property of Naboth. Naboth understood his position as current Trustee of his Trustee family's wealth. No amount of money or other alternatives could convince Naboth to betray his trust. So the State went to the point of murdering Naboth, under the testimony of false witnesses, to acquire the property it lusted after.

There is s lesson to be learned in this. The modern Trust system facilitates Biblical Trustee families to pass on their wealth without State interference. However, our present Federal Government is lusting after the wealth held in trust by these families. Proposals have been made to tax Family Trusts.

Where is the voice of the church speaking against this vicious attack on Biblical Christian Trustee families? To deny the security of Trusts to "bad families" will deny the security to "godly" families as well. Strong, godly families, with a strong sense of faith, tradition, secure wealth and heritage form the backbone of a culture. Allow the State to reduce these families, by giving it license to plunder that which is held in Trust for future generations, is national suicide. "All those who hate me (the Wisdom of God) love death." (Proverbs 8:36)

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