Restoring the Broken with Jubilee

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In the Old Testament they had the jubilee principle, which Israel never seemed to keep. It was to prevent the sins of the fathers being passed down to subsequent generations, to stop the perpetual poverty people were born into. This was part of the clear social rehabilitation the Old Testament was wanting to build into the culture, for a culture of peace building.

Every seven years debts were forgiven. If a poor man approached you in the sixth year and you had money, you had to pend it to him, even though the debt would be cancelled in the very next year.

This strikes at the heart of our covetousness that separates our communities and prevents their healing for the peace to build. These principles are what the United Nations tries to build into the world of conflict, not to excuse the evil that people do, but to work against that evil in restorative ways.

The world today has mountains upon mountains of unforgiven debt. In a world like this, that is ruled my mammon, peace is not possible. If Christians are interested at all in biblical values, we should be championing those that lead us to peace by rebuilding the lives of the broken, instead of casting them down further.

The church should be at the forefront of those practices that re-establish community, that heal brokenness that resolve conflicts, that deliver the poor, that breaks down suspicions and scapegoating attitudes we hold against each other. The church isn’t to be the accuser but the intercessor, the one who stands in the gap, at the cost of our own interest, to support and lift up the world around us. This is the cross, the great jubilee kind of life in the world, that is to be the mark of the church.

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