The modern Western concept of “human rights” is a heathen idea. It does not come from Scripture at all, though most Westerners read it back into the Bible.
It’s part of this whole idolatry of The Great Man, the type of the pivotal figure that so consumes our attention every day. Again: It’s idolatry. It arises out of the hero legends of Western Germanic tribal mythology. In Scripture, it’s never the man, but the role and the moral influence.
Let’s break this down: In the Spirit Realm, the individual covenant is the foundation — you and God. It is volitional in nature. Yet it is God who then becomes the center of all life, and He makes all Creation into one big family household with Him as Father.
The Fall creates a problem that changes how things are done here below. In the fallen realm of human existence, the extended family household is the keystone that holds it all together. Each household is a kingdom unto itself. That’s how the Covenant of Noah must be understood. Everything the individual needs, and all the blessings of shalom, hang on the membership in a household of faith.
As always, please note that a covenant bond takes priority over blood kinship, because the former is volitional, but the latter is not. Either way, the fundamental element of divine moral justice is in the way households interact, the relations between those little kingdoms. When an individual sins, the moral shock waves strike the family as a whole. The family with the sinner must atone to the aggrieved family. There’s not that much about one-on-one justice. It’s the biblical image of “covering” for sins, where the role of elder/chief/king is the primary starting point for dealing with human frailty.
Nor should you imagine that it’s all about the head of household as it would be in Western feudalism. The ANE shepherd image is a clear departure from the way things are done in the West. This is why I keep making it a point to frequently write the whole phrase: Ancient Near Eastern feudalism. That’s where the family is “property” in the sense of treasure, and real estate is just where you sojourn for the time being. Movable property is just a collection of tools that can be replaced.
And if you bother to wonder, I won’t simply suggest it, but flatly assert: The whole human race would be far better off if we lived a primitive nomadic existence. It might be less comfortable and less entertaining, but our souls would be so much richer, and a lot more people would live a life consistent with God’s revelation. And with God’s revelation as the key to our existence, we would typically live far longer, if that matters to you, in harmony with the rest of Creation. In a symbolic sense I could say that such a life would make the population of Heaven a lot bigger once this plane of existence is finished.
That simple life is an ideal, but not a real option for most of the human race, so we approach it as closely as we can. One of the ways we do that is to recognize that there is no such thing as “human rights” in God’s sight. Thus, your moral discernment must include that rejection as a prerequisite for pondering what God really wants. And that rejection is utterly necessary when you feel the burden to make a prophetic denunciation of sin. Any modern government that uses individual rights as a bludgeon against that individual’s family is fighting Noah, fighting reality, fighting God.
His wrath will be no small thing as it passes through our world.