“Leave your country, your people and your father’s household
And go to the land I will show you.
I will make you into a great nation
And I will bless you
I will make your name great
And you will be a blessing
I will bless those who bless you
And whoever curses you I will curse
And all nations on earth
will be blessed through you.”
The above passage is referred to as God’s promise to Abram. In it God tells Abram all the needs that will be fulfilled in Abram’s life if he simply depends on God to fulfill his physiological needs. God would eventually rename Abram to Abraham.
A few thousand years after this was written, Abraham Maslow came up with his renowned “hierarchy of needs”. This hierarchy had the five following components:
When I looked at this hierarchy the alarm bells went off, because I was deeply familiar with the book of Genesis and God’s promise to Abram in particular.
Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you fulfills the physiological requirement.
I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you fulfills the belonging requirement.
I will make your name great and you will be a blessing fulfills the esteem requirement.
I will bless those who bless you and those who curse you I will curse fulfills the safety requirement.
All nations on earth will be blessed through you fulfills the self-actualization requirement.
So, what is it that Maslow revealed to us that the authors of the Old Testament haven’t already recognized as fundamental needs? It appears to me that Maslow at best reinvented the wheel. At worst he plagiarized and secularized a Bible passage.
On further examination of this passsage and of Maslow’s hierarchy we can find that there is a defining quality between the physiological and the remaining needs. The physiological need does not require social interaction, the four remaining needs do. This produces another tetrad.