February 9, 2010

Lev 24-25: Jubilee

Posted in The Law tagged , , , , at 8:34 pm by Steve

A young man who blasphemed God,  Leviticus 24:10-23.   [In Summary:  In the first test of the law against blaspheming God’s name, the Lord directed that the offender be indicted by those who heard the sin, then stoned by the Israelites.]

It is one thing to listen to the rules.  It is quite another thing to actually apply them – especially when it involves the death penalty.  Note carefully that those who made the accusations – who heard the man blaspheme – were required to be involved in the ritual of the stoning (v. 14).  This very practical part of the process made it difficult for individuals to accuse falsely.  They could not insulate themselves from the actual execution.

This incident underscored the holiness of God’s name.  It was not to be treated carelessly.  Jesus affirmed this principle in teaching the Lord’s Prayer (Matt 6:9).  Although the death penalty is not applied for this today, the affront to the living God is the same.  We should not forget that fact.

Does anyone else find it strange that God offers us a Jubilee? What other religion takes such details to have one day of rest each week. One year of rest in every seven and a year of Jubilee in every 50 years. It was a year to re-establish equity and to prevent the creation of classes. Today we have the super wealthy, Bill Gates is worth an estimated 86 billion, and the homeless and masses of those living on less than one dollar a day.

God asks us each 50 years to reassess where we are as a people and what life was meant to be. No longer would people be consumed with unimaginable wealth at the cost of the life of other.

There is a quote I have always like, “for every wealthy person, there is one in poverty.”

What would you consider to be the major problems we would encounter about going to a Jubilee in our time and culture?

What would be the benefits?