Is there an economic system that can guarantee economic stability?
[Darris McNeely] We’ve turned the page of the calendar to a new year, 2013. We didn’t exactly go off the fiscal cliff. We were doing a number of dailies about that. That has been the biggest news the past couple of days. Congress, the Senate, the House of Representatives in the United States, they have passed a law that has kept us supposedly from going over the cliff.
However, in a couple of months there are going to be other major issues that will once again bring this issue to the fore. We’ve got a debt ceiling and we still have a major debt. And there are other budget cuts that will be discussed. We are not over it yet. Perhaps we are--have kind of pulled ourselves up short from going over this cliff, but it’s not over. Systemic, large problems are still involved, not only in the economy of the United States, but the world economy that keep bringing these economic crisis back around without a permanent solution.
Wouldn’t it be something if a country somewhere could come up with an economic plan, an economic system that was foolproof, that was depression proof, recession proof that would not bring every few years a total reordering of society, reordering by depression or recession or economic crisis like we have seen in the modern history of so many nations?
Wouldn’t it be great if such a model could be found?
Well, there is such a model. It’s in the Bible. It’s in a little known, and a little understood, and even little discussed concept and description back in the book of Leviticus, chapter 25 where it talks about a concept called the Jubilee. There’s an entire chapter there that goes through a very interesting economic law that God gave to ancient Israel that even many modern economist will every once in a while trot out and refer to as an economic model that actually would reorder society without such great disruption and economic problems as we often see throughout the history, especially in modern economies.
The Jubilee as God gave to ancient Israel described back here in Leviticus 25 is a very interesting law. We can’t cover it all in one Daily, but I thought we might just begin to touch on it, come back to it in future episodes to try to bring out some of the details to help us understand that in the pages of the Bible, God gave an economic model to form a society around that would make it recession proof and depression proof, and that would also help to ensure many other aspects of society.
If you look just briefly, follow along with me or just listen carefully, you will see this described beginning in verse 1 of Leviticus 25. Now what God begins to do here in the opening verses is to describe what were a series of seven year cycles--seven, seven year cycles that the first seven would come down to, you would have six years of work and activity and normal agricultural, economic activity. But on the seventh year it was called, what was called a year of release.
There would not be any plantings. There would be a year of release of certain debts and other matters within society. In Leviticus chapter 25, God says to "Count seven Sabbaths of years for yourself, seven times seven years; and the time of the seven Sabbaths of years shall be to you 49 years" (Leviticus 25:8 Leviticus 25:8And you shall number seven sabbaths of years to you, seven times seven years; and the space of the seven sabbaths of years shall be to you forty and nine years.
American King James Version×). So what it is saying here in verse 8 of Leviticus 25 is to count seven Sabbaths of years, seven times seven, which makes, comes out to 49 years. And then He goes on and says, "You will cause the trumpet of the Jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month on the Day of Atonement. You will make the trumpet to sound throughout your land," (Leviticus 25:9 Leviticus 25:9Then shall you cause the trumpet of the jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month, in the day of atonement shall you make the trumpet sound throughout all your land.
American King James Version×) a trumpet of the Jubilee on the tenth day of the seventh month, which is in here the Day of Atonement. "And you will consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout all of the land to its inhabitants. It shall be a Jubilee for you; and to each of you shall return to his possession, and each of you shall return to his family" (Leviticus 25:10 Leviticus 25:10And you shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land to all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubilee to you; and you shall return every man to his possession, and you shall return every man to his family.
American King James Version×. )So the fiftieth year, so we have plus one, which will bring us to the fiftieth year, this fiftieth year was called then the Jubilee announced by a blast of a trumpet on the Day of Atonement at the beginning of that year. And He says that everyone would return to his possession, each one to his family.
Now the law goes on here in Leviticus 25 to explain many other details of what really when you understand it becomes a basic, practical economic and social structure for a nation living under God’s law. God gave it to Israel, but embedded within this were certain spiritual laws and concepts, not just the annual every seven years of release, but also release of debt. It dealt with the property values that allowed those property values stretched out over 49 years to rise and fall in a measured structured way that would keep wild gyrations and swings back and forth of costs and valuations of property.
It also allowed for the forgiveness of debt.
In fact, when you look very carefully at the law of the Jubilee what you find that it deals with three different things. It deals with property and the value of property, which is at the heart of every economic structure: land and the value of land, and what can be produced and taken from that land. It also deals with money: value, goods. And then thirdly, this law of the Jubilee deals with people. These are the three basic concepts really of an economy in a functioning economy within any nation and especially we can understand this in our modern world.
Property, what can be derived from it, agriculturally, mineral rights, production of value and money and worth certainly money and the value and exchange of money and how that impacts people. As people use money and property to live, to have families, to produce villages, towns, whole countries and nations and economic lifestyles that govern really a modern society. When we bring this back to what we face today in our own nation, in the United States, and in other countries, economic crisis that develop impact the evaluation of the currency, that impact taxation, that impact everything coming down to really your pocketbook and mine, how we live our life, the debt that we accumulate and how we manage our funds and finances. Every one of those are covered by aspects of this law of the Jubilee. A nation that would order its world and its economy and society around such a law would avoid the problems that we see on a regular basis in our modern society.
It’s all right here in the Bible. It’s an important law. We’ll come back to it. It’s worth exploring this a little deeper here on some of these dailies, perhaps even do an entire Beyond Today program or a special on it at some point in the future. But it would keep us from going off the fiscal cliff. And at the end of the day, isn’t that what all of us really desire is a country, government, leadership that would keep us from experiencing the wild fluctuations that come with economic systems in our modern world?
That’s BT Daily . Stay with us and come back next time.