God is the owner of all the land that makes up the world. His creations (people) are only leasers of this land, including the land Israelites claimed to be their own. One of the constructs of God’s eternal design is that everything that people claim to own should not permanently belong to them because God has just loaned them. For instance, the Bible says that land should and must not be permanently sold since it belongs to God and these temporary owners are just aliens and tenants living with God (Gill, 2012). This clearly shows that God’s design is that everything belong to him, and, people only live as tenants whose the landlord is God. God uses land to maintain order and shepherd His people. Every person possesses the land that has been lend to him/her by God for a certain period, and everyone must live on land, and eat from this land. However, people must do this in the order that God has laid down. This is God’s eternal design and failure to adhere to this design is offensive to the owner of the land (God). Some of the things that contravene this design include stealing. Stealing is considered an act of ingratitude to God and this explains why God has placed it as one of the natural laws in the Ten Commandments.
Most of the good and the ethics that people practiced in the Old Testament were directed by the Ten Commandments which were inscribed on a stone tablet and given to Moses. These ethics prepare people to contribute to God’s eternal design. People got condemned to eternal punishment in hell. Eternal condemnation in hell frustrates God’s will for His eternal design (Seymour, 2013). In addition, it defaces the beauty of God’s world. Many things that people did in the Old Testament were unethical, including stealing, extortion, and deception. Therefore, every person was required, in Old Testament ethics, to conduct himself/herself in a way that shows he/she is responsible for his/her own welfare as well as the welfare of other people.
There were certain ethical guidelines that governed property and liability, loans, servitude, social and animal care, and family arrangements. Failure to uphold the ethics governing these important aspects, contributed to the destruction of God’s eternal design. For example, in the Old Testament, there were certain spousal arrangements that God had allowed and there were ethics governing these arrangements. Failure to adhere to these arrangements attracted a punishment. For example, David failed to adhere to this arrangement and took Uriah’s wife. This act was extremely unethical and ended up attracting God’s punishment (Blackaby & Blackaby, 2002). Secondly, David acted unethically by planning the death of Uriah. After realizing that he had sinned, he repented and God forgave him because His will is to restore His eternal design. The most ethical thing that David had to do is to repent to avoid further God’s punishment. All these ethical deeds that people did in the Old Testament contributed to God’s eternal design.
- Blackaby, H. & Blackaby, R. (2002). Hearing God’s Voice. B&H Publishing Group.
- Gill, V. (2012). Redemption Concluded. Victoria: Friesen Press.
- Seymour, C. (2013). A Theodicy of Hell. New York: Springer Science & Business Media.