Of Treaties and Politicians

Of Treaties and Politicians

22 At that time Abimelek and Phicol the commander of his forces said to Abraham, “God is with you in everything you do. 23 Now swear to me here before God that you will not deal falsely with me or my children or my descendants. Show to me and the country where you now reside as a foreigner the same kindness I have shown to you.”

24 Abraham said, “I swear it.”

25 Then Abraham complained to Abimelek about a well of water that Abimelek’s servants had seized. 26 But Abimelek said, “I don’t know who has done this. You did not tell me, and I heard about it only today.”

27 So Abraham brought sheep and cattle and gave them to Abimelek, and the two men made a treaty. 28 Abraham set apart seven ewe lambs from the flock, 29 and Abimelek asked Abraham, “What is the meaning of these seven ewe lambs you have set apart by themselves?”

30 He replied, “Accept these seven lambs from my hand as a witness that I dug this well.”

31 So that place was called Beersheba, because the two men swore an oath there.

32 After the treaty had been made at Beersheba, Abimelek and Phicol the commander of his forces returned to the land of the Philistines. 33 Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and there he called on the name of the Lord, the Eternal God. 34 And Abraham stayed in the land of the Philistines for a long time. Genesis 21:22-34

Abimelek again entered the picture. He obviously remembered Abraham’s deceit with his wife and wanted no more of it. So they made a treaty among themselves.

The same kinds of treaties are made every day among world leaders. Some are military treaties, while others are more geared towards commerce and trade. A successful treaty today is when each nation involved believes it is getting a good deal from the agreements.

You’ve no doubt been hearing a lot of news about trade treaties with China and other Asian countries. Negotiators on both (or all) sides spend weeks and months hammering out deals before the leaders actually shake hands and documents are signed. It take a lot of wisdom all around to make deals that satisfies all participants.

We live in interesting times in areas of trade, peace, environment, human rights, trafficking, drugs, and other relevant topics. For the longest time, China has been granted most favored nation status despite its deplorable human rights violations. That’s changing.

While each nation is different in its goals and values and what its best interests are, leaders needs wisdom so that they’ll do the best things for the people they represent. Unfortunately all too often that represents “the donor class,” those powerful lobbyists who spend a lot of money on political campaigns to persuade a politician to vote a certain way. So pray for those in power to do what’s right instead of what’s expedient or what the donor class wants. This actually applies to many jobs government is tasked to perform.

Just as Abraham and Abimelek struck a deal at Beersheba, pray for leaders who strike deals in your country.

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