A Lesson in Dominion from the Chinese
There are a lot of things to take into consideration when contemplating the fact that the followers of Jesus Christ will inherit the earth, or have dominion over it, as instructed by God.
An example being used by China in Africa is instructive in Christians taking dominion in a way that isn’t intimidating.
Recently Chinese President Xi Jinping announced that China was offering $60 billion in financing for a variety of African projects, adding it would be “in the form of assistance, investment and loans….”
One odd thing the article I linked to above asserts is China is reaching out to Africa because it is “often seen as overlooked by the US and other Western nations.” The same paragraph goes on to say that nations of Africa are “often happy to accept China’s offers that come without demands for safeguards against corruption, waste and environmental damage.” That’s another way of saying dealing with China is easier than the West.
It’s also wise on the part of China because the idea of Africa being able to build out the type of infrastructure and environmental safeguards in the same way a developed Western or emerging Eastern nation could, is ludicrous. This is a major reason China is making huge economic and influential inroads into Africa.
While the word dominate has come to mean something negative in the minds of a lot of people, in fact the word, at least in part, means to have a strong or commanding influence upon, or exercising control over.
These words or phrases in real life can of course be abused or misused, but that in no way takes away the legitimacy of them as it relates to God and His people. Improper use of authority and expertise doesn’t delegitimize dominion, as it’s inherent in the very nature of God, of which we are to take up as part of bearing His image.
Not embracing and participating in this has left a huge vacuum in individual Christians, as well as churches. It has also resulted in the world, temporarily, being heavily influenced by the enemies of God. Part of our calling in this age is to reverse that and bring the will of God and kingdom of God on earth, as it is in heaven.
As far as this relates to the Chinese, I want to show one strategy that can be used to do it without triggering heavy resistance from people; as a matter of fact, it’s done in a way that is embraced and gladly received.
China’s African strategy
For many years I’ve watched with interest the steps China has been taking in Africa. There are a number of them, but this is one that has a lot of implications concerning the resources of the continent and its land.
I’ve already mentioned the “aide” or “financing” China is offering Africa. When you contemplate the people of Africa in general and how they relate to finances in various forms offered them in the past, I see them considering this another way of getting it over on the lenders or givers, which they’ll never have to pay back in their view. This time around they’re definitely wrong. The Chinese aren’t the weak West. They will, in the case of loans, enforce the terms when, not if, the Africans default on them.
According to President Xi, the investments of China in Africa come with “no political strings attached.”
Note he was careful to use the phrase “no political strings attached.” He didn’t say there weren’t strings attached. There obviously are and will be.
What’s the truth of the matter? The truth is there won’t be any political strings attached. I believe what he states because he’s positioning himself and China for what will come down the road. As I said, there will without a doubt be a default on the loans offered, and at that time China will probably extend them to give the appearance of good will to the world, and when they are defaulted on the second time, it will come in and confiscate the collateral offered to back the loans.
Not only will China get control of extraordinary assets, probably primarily in the form of land and commodities, but it will do so while being seen by many in the world as patient and benevolent toward the people of Africa.
So in the name of doing something positive for many of the nations of Africa, China is preparing to get control of land and resources that will supply the many needs of the country for a very long period of time.
What does this have to do with God’s command for His people to have dominion over the earth? It shows a method used that doesn’t involve the use of force, but rather offering capital to help improve their nations. If they default on their loan obligations, it will be considered nothing more than doing business when the Chinese take over the resources. And as a matter of fact, it is in reality nothing more or less than that. The fact it’s in my opinion part of a plan by the Chinese, doesn’t mean the methodology is corrupt or sinful.
The same type of thing, usually at a much smaller level, is done by governments, businesses and individuals all across the Western nations and other parts of the world. So what is China actually doing here?
China is an extremely patient people, and don’t have any qualms about defending what it considers to be theirs. What it has obviously done in my opinion is carefully studied the peoples of Africa and measured its investment of capital against the probability of generating a return or experiencing a default; there’s a reason the structure of the loans, grants and business deals were so meticulously communicated in the media, which is to create a paper and media trail which it will use when the inevitable defaults come.
In reality, very few complaints will be made when it happens, as many countries that have given multiple billions to Africa with little in the way of improvement, won’t feel sorry for them. There is of course the corruption and waste associated with loans, charity, and various supplies provided for many decades to the nations of Africa which has soured much of the West on the region. Outside of Western Africa, which France has an interest in, it’s probably why there has been little opposition or resistance to China and what it has been doing there for so long.
Now as far as the Bible goes, is there precedence for human nature being considered and deals made that are certain to bring about specific, anticipated results over time? Yes. One such case is with Shimei, who cursed King David and his men as they came to Bahurim. Here’s how it’s described:
2 Samuel 16: 5-13
5 And when king David came to Bahurim, behold, thence came out a man of the family of the house of Saul, whose name was Shimei, the son of Gera: he came forth, and cursed still as he came.
6 And he cast stones at David, and at all the servants of king David: and all the people and all the mighty men were on his right hand and on his left.
7 And thus said Shimei when he cursed, Come out, come out, thou bloody man, and thou man of Belial:
8 The Lord hath returned upon thee all the blood of the house of Saul, in whose stead thou hast reigned; and the Lord hath delivered the kingdom into the hand of Absalom thy son: and, behold, thou art taken in thy mischief, because thou art a bloody man.
9 Then said Abishai the son of Zeruiah unto the king, Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? let me go over, I pray thee, and take off his head.
10 And the king said, What have I to do with you, ye sons of Zeruiah? so let him curse, because the Lord hath said unto him, Curse David. Who shall then say, Wherefore hast thou done so?
11 And David said to Abishai, and to all his servants, Behold, my son, which came forth of my bowels, seeketh my life: how much more now may this Benjamite do it? let him alone, and let him curse; for the Lord hath bidden him.
12 It may be that the Lord will look on mine affliction, and that the Lord will requite me good for his cursing this day.
13 And as David and his men went by the way, Shimei went along on the hill’s side over against him, and cursed as he went, and threw stones at him, and cast dust.
On his death bed David instructed Solomon on how to deal with the situation.
1 Kings 2: 8,9
8 And, behold, thou hast with thee Shimei the son of Gera, a Benjamite of Bahurim, which cursed me with a grievous curse in the day when I went to Mahanaim: but he came down to meet me at Jordan, and I sware to him by the Lord, saying, I will not put thee to death with the sword.
9 Now therefore hold him not guiltless: for thou art a wise man, and knowest what thou oughtest to do unto him; but his hoar head bring thou down to the grave with blood.
Here’s how Solomon dealt with the situation.
1 Kings 2: 36-46
36 And the king sent and called for Shimei, and said unto him, Build thee an house in Jerusalem, and dwell there, and go not forth thence any whither.
37 For it shall be, that on the day thou goest out, and passest over the brook Kidron, thou shalt know for certain that thou shalt surely die: thy blood shall be upon thine own head.
38 And Shimei said unto the king, The saying is good: as my lord the king hath said, so will thy servant do. And Shimei dwelt in Jerusalem many days.
39 And it came to pass at the end of three years, that two of the servants of Shimei ran away unto Achish son of Maachah king of Gath. And they told Shimei, saying, Behold, thy servants be in Gath.
40 And Shimei arose, and saddled his ass, and went to Gath to Achish to seek his servants: and Shimei went, and brought his servants from Gath.
41 And it was told Solomon that Shimei had gone from Jerusalem to Gath, and was come again.
42 And the king sent and called for Shimei, and said unto him, Did I not make thee to swear by the Lord, and protested unto thee, saying, Know for a certain, on the day thou goest out, and walkest abroad any whither, that thou shalt surely die? and thou saidst unto me, The word that I have heard is good.
43 Why then hast thou not kept the oath of the Lord, and the commandment that I have charged thee with?
44 The king said moreover to Shimei, Thou knowest all the wickedness which thine heart is privy to, that thou didst to David my father: therefore the Lord shall return thy wickedness upon thine own head;
45 And king Solomon shall be blessed, and the throne of David shall be established before the Lord for ever.
46 So the king commanded Benaiah the son of Jehoiada; which went out, and fell upon him, that he died. And the kingdom was established in the hand of Solomon.
Note that David pointed out to Solomon that he was a wise man and would know what to do to deal out the sentence of capital punishment Shimei deserved.
What’s important to understand is Solomon understood human nature. He knew that by confining Shimei to one side of the brook of Kidron around Jerusalem, that eventually he would break the terms of the deal and justice would be administered. Of course that day came and he was properly executed for his crimes.
The point as it relates to dominion is we should also look at the nature of people and not be afraid to offer various deals that allow us to take dominion in the earth. This isn’t for the purpose of being dishonest or to steal, but to structure deals in a way that if a person defaults on them, we get to take over the resources that were used as collateral.
This is obvious with land and real estate, but if the principles are thought through carefully, they can be applied to numerous situations that aren’t only related to finances, business or economics.
The bottom line is the Lord gave us the command to have dominion. We are to engage in actions and deals that provide us with the resources, capital and land that allow us to exercise dominion. Doing that within the parameters of God’s laws while using wisdom is a very desirable, holy, and positive thing to do.
After all, it’s time for planet earth to come under new management. Aren’t you sick of the way the world takes care of it? We need to build our skills, develop and attitude of responsibility, and patiently await our opportunities to manage our piece of turf on the planet.
When this happens around the world in many nations and localities, we’ll start to see the will of God and kingdom of God being formed on the earth in the likeness of heaven.
Bear in mind that this is only one of many ways resources and capital can be gathered from the ungodly and transferred to the followers of Jesus Christ, who is the Lord of heaven and earth.