The Genesis of Scarcity
Genesis 1:1-2, 26-31 – In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.….. Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food”; and it was so. Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good.
Genesis 2:8-10, 15-17, 19 & 20a
8 The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed. 9 And out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. 10 Now a river went out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it parted and became four riverheads……. 15 Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”……..19 Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field.
15 And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.” 16 To the woman He said: “I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; In pain you shall bring forth children; Your desire shall be for your husband, And he shall rule over you.” 17 Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’: “Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it All the days of your life. 18 Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, And you shall eat the herb of the field. 19 In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread Till you return to the ground, For out of it you were taken; For dust you are, And to dust you shall return.”
One of the most prominent and contemporary definitions of economics involve the notions of choice and scarcity. Perhaps the earliest of these is by Lionell Robbins in 1935: “Economics is a science which studies human behaviour as a relationship between ends and scarce means which have alternative uses.” Virtually all textbooks have definitions that are derived from this definition. Though the exact wording differs from author to author, the standard definition is something like this:
“Economics is the social science that examines how people choose to use limited or scarce resources in attempting to satisfy their unlimited wants.” It implies that human needs are unlimited but the resources to meet the needs are limited therefore people have to make a choice of what is most beneficial to them at the moment.
From reading Genesis chapter 1, the creation story, we see that the earth was without form and void. Then God began to fix it, this implies that it must have been broken by someone. There was a pre-adamic world, then Lucifer came into it after he was cast out of heaven into the earth, the pre-adamic world was destroyed (Isaiah 14:12-15 and Jeremiah 4:23-26). This is the earth that Genesis 1:2 refers to. But I will not go into that in this write up. In Genesis 1:2 onwards, God began to put the earth back together again. The first day He created light, the second day He created the firmament, the third day He created the dry land and vegetation, the fourth day He created sun, moon and the stars, the fifth day He created fishes (water life), birds (air life) and cattle (terrestrial life), the sixth day He created mankind and on the seventh day, God rested from His creation work.
After God made everything, he gave man the dominion and control over all of the earth, the creatures and vast resources of the earth. God built an exclusive Garden for man to reside in, cultivate and protect. In the centre of the garden, God planted the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God instructed man not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil as he would die if he did. It was the plan of God for man to live forever. From examining Genesis 1-2, I found that God provided man with everything and man lacked no spiritual, soul or material thing. He was complete. In addition to this, in Genesis 1:28,“God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” To bless means to divinely empower to prosper, so God empowered man to be fruitful exponentially, personally and also to refill anything that is missing or finishes on earth. So God empowered man to be a fixer and to take charge of the earth. Man was not created to live in lack or scarcity he was created to be a multiplier and filler.
Note, the most important component of man is the breath of God in Him. Genesis 1:26 makes it clear that man became a living soul soon after God released his breath into the nostrils of man. This means the very life of God was released into man and the core of man is God himself.
But man disobeyed God and ate the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil. Eating the fruit of this tree carried the penalty of death. This means that the pure eternal life of God that was in man, the very presence of God left man. This is replaced with death. Please be aware that death is not cessation, it is actually separation. So man was disconnected from the divine life of God and connected with the devilish life of Satan. Disconnection from God results in mankind coming under a curse. He was expelled from the garden. He became a cursed person instead of being blessed. Man became exposed. Curse is divine empowerment not to prosper. With the fall of man came scarcity. Remember one of the things that the blessing of God gave Adam was the ability to ‘multiply and replenish’ so the loss of the blessing brought scarcity. But thank God, Jesus Christ came to our rescue and said in John 10:10, ‘I am come that you may have life and have it more abundantly’ Galatians 3:13 says ‘Christ has redeemed us from the curse of law’ we have been redeemed from the curse of breaking God’s law if we are in Christ. The curse of breaking God’s law is under three categories spiritual death, sickness, and poverty (scarcity).
The fundamental thing that Adam lost in the garden was not the garden, which came after. The fundamental thing that Adam lost was the life and presence of God. So when Jesus came he brought us back into unity with God. Please be aware that before physical scarcity, there was a spiritual disconnection. Physical need is sign that something is spiritually out of place and you cannot solve a spiritual problem that has its root in the spirit by mere physical measures.
So start from the root and the fruit would be dealt with. The root of scarcity is not because of limited resources on earth, there is a huge wealth on earth that has not be tapped. There is enough money in the world to go around. As a child of God you have been redeemed, you now need to put more value on God’s presence and his life that you have in you and begin to cultivate it. As you follow His leading he will lead you to green pasture.
Matthew 6:33 – But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
For further study:
Personal Declaration for the day
I will seek God first and all other things will be added to me in Jesus name.
Questions for you to reflect on:
What is the source of scarcity?
What is the cure to scarcity?