Ancient Israel was established by God on a very deep social and personal set of cycles. Every seven days there was a mandatory Sabbath; every seven years a “reset” of loans and collateral securities; every seven years there was to be a sabbatical year for the land and all related agricultural activity; every seven-times-seven completion, a fifty year of Jubilee where all land mortgages reverted back to their original owners and some conscripted labor went free. In short, debts were ended and the economy was free—a fresh start for those needing second chances at financial security.
‘And you shall count seven sabbaths of years for yourself, seven times seven years; and the time of the seven sabbaths of years shall be to you forty-nine years. Then you shall cause the trumpet of the Jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the Day of Atonement you shall make the trumpet to sound throughout all your land. And you shall consecrate the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a Jubilee for you; and each of you shall return to his possession, and each of you shall return to his family. That fiftieth year shall be a Jubilee to you; in it you shall neither sow nor reap what grows of its own accord, nor gather the grapes of your untended vine. For it is the Jubilee; it shall be holy to you; you shall eat its produce from the field.
‘In this Year of Jubilee, each of you shall return to his possession. And if you sell anything to your neighbor or buy from your neighbor’s hand, you shall not oppress one another. According to the number of years after the Jubilee you shall buy from your neighbor, and according to the number of years of crops he shall sell to you. According to the multitude of years you shall increase its price, and according to the fewer number of years you shall diminish its price; for he sells to you according to the number of the years of the crops. Therefore you shall not oppress one another, but you shall fear your God; for I am the Lord your God. —Leviticus 25:8-17
The profound significance of such a system is almost breathtaking in contrast to where our global economy is today. As the gaps between the very rich and everybody else continue to widen, and as the middle class in most of the so-called “first world” stagnates as wages relative to inflation slide backward, one must wonder, “How can this Old Testament pattern speak to us today?” While many in the “third world” lack the benefit of various economic skills, are saturated with corruption and failed legal systems, and are short-changed by selective first-world economic policies, those with a concern for people continue to ask, “How can this be remedied?”
Socialism has proven unworkable and unsustainable on every level. Economic “redistribution” is robbery on one side of the equation and proven failure on the other unless those receiving the “redistribution” have the skill-sets to use those resources to find true self-sufficiency. The trillion-dollar programs of the “Great Society” in the inner cities of America have proven that. While masses of uninformed people still believe in a zero-sum economy (that is, that the rich have somehow taken money away from the poor because the money supply is a fixed quantity), clear-thinking, economic reality is rarer and rarer to find.
In my 2012 book, On The Destiny Of Nations: Resolving The Current Economic Crisis, I, like others, talked about a “great reset” washing towards us in the coming years. It affords the possibility of a kind of biblical sabbatical like unto the year of Jubilee if we can respond to it appropriately and keep the economic-limited thinkers, the political opportunists, and the uninformed masses or populists away from the steering wheels. That, in itself, will take a miracle of biblical proportions! So what course should we take when the God of mercy uses our current economic iniquities to give us the possibility of a global do-over? To be continued… And that is… THE BOTTOM LINE.