Friday, January 4, 2013 (All day)
[Darris McNeely] What if we could come up with an economic system that was recession proof and depression proof? We asked this question in the last BT Daily in a series that we started on the subject of the Jubilee, the biblical Jubilee that is described in Leviticus chapter 25 . We talked about it in an overview last time, and I want to dig a little bit deeper into here for a few minutes and show you one of the components of the 50 year cycle of the Jubilee. If we break it down into the seven year cycle, we can gain a little bit better understanding of some of the mechanics of how it works.
Let's go back to Leviticus chapter 25 and let's look at the first few verses once again, 1-7 that talks about this aspect. Let's read it again. It says, "God spoke to Moses at Sinai and He said, 'When you come into land that I give you, the land shall keep a Sabbath to the Lord. Six years you will sow your field and six years you will prune your vineyard. But in the seventh year, it will be a Sabbath of solemn rest for the land a Sabbath to the Lord. You will neither sow your field nor prune your vineyard'" (Leviticus 25:1-7). Alright, what we have described here is a cycle of seven years. Let's just draw that up here, put the numbers up on the board to get an idea.
Every seven years there came a time when there was a year of rest on the seventh year and then the eighth year would pick up. Leviticus 25 describes that there was to be no sowing done within the land. What this is describing is a rest for the land. So God in His promises here in other Scriptures would show that on the sixth year, a double portion would actually be promised, a blessing, to carry people over into the - through the seventh year and on into the eighth year when another harvest would be, a crop would be planted, and a harvest gained. This seventh year then became not only a land rest, but it also became a period of time by which many other economic matters were determined within society. In Exodus chapter 21, this is also mentioned back here as a time when those who might have been slaves would see their release in the seventh year. It says that in Exodus 21:2 that "If you buy a Hebrew servant, he shall serve six years and in the seventh he shall go out free and pay nothing." The seventh year here in Exodus then 21 was shown to be a year when a person who was a servant or in slavery would be granted their release.
Think for our own modern terminology here and what we see here, economic slavery. What if you could be assured that if you got yourself into a financial pickle and problem, that by the time you come around to the seventh year, you could be guaranteed that at least you would be released from that debt, out of that debt, out of that economic servitude and back on your feet financially once again? We carry this over in many ways into our modern world through bankruptcy laws and restructured bankruptcies to give an opportunity for a person or a business to kind of economically reset themselves.
In Deuteronomy chapter 15 we also see where this every seven years cycle is also mentioned in Deuteronomy 15:1 where it says that "At the end of every seven years, you shall grant a release of debt. This is the form of the release: every creditor who has lent anything to his neighbor shall release it. He shall not require it of his neighbor or of his brother because it is called the Lord's release."
So again we see that in the seventh year there was a restructuring of the economic order of a particular society. The land was allowed to rest. Debts were forgiven. Even individuals who had made certain mistakes and incur debt by business failures or whatever, they could be assured that in a given amount of time, that debt would either be worked out, would eventually be forgiven, and they and their family and perhaps even other generations within the family would not be saddled with an onerous debt that could never ever be repaid.
You know if you make certain mistakes or decisions that can be mistakes let's say today by incurring a great deal of credit, credit card debt, consumer debt through those little pieces of plastic that we carry around. And you can run up thousands of dollars worth of debt very, very quickly. And with the high interest rates many of you realize as many do that it's going to be a very, very long time before that debt will ever be repaid with such high interest rates. Mistakes can be made by the decisions that we make.
These laws that we find in Leviticus 25, Deuteronomy 15, and Exodus 21 that talk about after seven years a debt forgiveness, or a restructuring of the economic order taking place would balance out some of the problems that take place when humans being and money are all involved. You see within this structure here the importance of a sound economic structure that God placed within the nation of Israel that forms really a backbone for a lot of other economic principles that even can impact and benefit the modern world today. Now, this is just looking at the cycles of every seven years. We talked about in the previous BT Daily that the Jubilee year involves seven cycles of seven plus one to get to the 50th year of the Jubilee.
We'll come back to that and talk about it in the next Beyond Today episode that we're talking about. But let's look at what we are dealing with. We're talking about the forgiveness of debt. We're also talking about financial education because a person caught in a debt trap and knowing that in the seventh year there is the hope of being released or having the debt worked off is going to learn certain lessons that will keep them from going back into it hopefully. But if they do, there's another seven years or so down the road and there's a cycle of education that can keep people from recurring those debts and those problems. You also have a balanced economy. If you understand that every seven to fifty years there is going to be a restructuring of society, what this gets into is to realize that if land is valued on a fifty year cycle, then the value of that land can be guaranteed throughout that entire cycle thus ensuring that there's not a wide fluctuation: prices by inflation or recession, and decisions can be made that are going to be sound to regulate the economy of a given people.
God's financial laws are in the Bible. They do work and they can keep any society using those from experiencing the wild fluctuations that we see today. In fact, at the heart and at the problem of much of our economic problems in the modern world is a failure to adhere to basic principles and laws that God put in place within the law of the Jubilee. God's way does work. We'll come back and go a little bit deeper into this in the next episode of Beyond Today on the Jubilee year.
Until then, that's BT Daily . Join us next time.