Moses the Economist 

How was Moses an economist?

Moses was one of the first economists in the Bible, along with Joseph. We know how important economic stability is and that it depends on a country’s ability to stay safe from invasion. Moses told all physically fit men over 20 to join the military to protect the land (Numbers 1:3). Significantly, Moses set up a remarkable system to ensure the economy would be stable and safe.

Based on this story, we can see no difference between the sacred and the secular during Moses’ time. Moses was a prophet of God, but he also made decisions about Israel’s economy. He knew everyone. He was in charge of this vital group.

The Mosaic system of economics was designed for adoption by people who had agreed that their lives should be governed by certain spiritual axioms. Without such a basis the system could not and will not work. The spiritual axioms are epitomized in the Ten Commandments, which define the general attitude of one person to another, with due regard to the fact that our spiritual life is conducted in conjunction with physical bodies, through the material requirements of which the welfare of both spiritual and physical is an economic concern. In embracing this fact the Commandments go so far as to outline certain basic economic principles for the successful pursuance of community existence. Thus the Ten Commandments at once lay the spiritual foundations upon which the Mosaic economic system is built, and pronounce the first principles of the system itself. Together with the elevating spiritual injunction to love God with all the power in our beings, and to love our neighbors as ourselves, we are given certain guiding principles, the observance of which will harmonize our spiritual and physical lives. (Parker 1947, p. 5-6) 

 God’s Word and the Economic System

God’s Law is the link between God and His people. Moses set up the basic rules for a successful government with the Ten Commandments. Having said that, God gave him the 10 Commandments to spread the word about God’s Law and ensure it was followed. By looking at the story of Moses’s leadership, we can see that the economic system is built on God’s Word.

How does this fit into the economy of today? Moreover, where are the people who believe in business today? If the economy was supposed to be based on God’s Word, why do Christians see business as a place where greed, corruption, and pride thrive?

Personal Application 

  1. Have you ever viewed any profit-making activity to be evil? Why or why not?
  2. How can you honor God with your profits?
  3. How do you acknowledge that God is the one who gives you the ability to produce wealth?


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