April 9: The Global Reset Button
Deuteronomy 15:1–17:20; 2 Corinthians 4:7–18; Psalm 37:1–22
When I was a kid, I loved playing Super Nintendo—especially Donkey Kong. Despite my love for it, it would just make me angry at times. When I couldn’t handle the way the game was panning out, I would slam down the controller and hit the reset button. I would start fresh. It’s more than a little sad that my entertainment made me act like a caveman. Yet those moments of resetting the entire system felt like another chance at life (albeit a virtual one).
With the state of the global economy, it often feels like the world needs a reset. It’s tempting to say something as radical as, “Let’s forgive all debts and start again.” Though this couldn’t happen—and it would be highly problematic since the statement depends on good will, free economy, and general care for one another—it doesn’t stop us from hoping.
God actually created a system for this audacious idea: in the Year of Jubilee, or the Sabbatical Year, slaves were freed and debts were forgiven (Deut 15), people were celebrated as equals (Deut 16), and the land was given a rest to prevent famine. (Famine was often caused by overworking the land.) It was a reset button.
The global economy is complex. I’m not suggesting that it’s time for a Year of Jubilee, but maybe it is time for an economic evaluation of our lives. Who is God calling you to forgive? Whose life could be better if you lifted their debts? Who needs your generosity right now? Who could you make an equal by changing something about your work or friendship? How can you celebrate with those who feel like lesser people in this world?
The economy proves the point that we are all interdependent. It also makes the case that doing something for those at the bottom of the economic ladder can have a massive impact—not just on them, but on others. Those that are forgiven are likely to forgive.
Whose life can you make better today? Who can you bring jubilee (celebration) to?
JOHN D. BARRY
- At the term of seven years thou shalt make a freedom, And this is the manner of the freedom: every creditor shall quit the loan of his hand which he hath lent to his neighbor: he shalt not ask it again of his neighbor, nor of his brother: for the year of the Lord’s freedom is proclaimed. Of a strange thou mayest require it: but that which thou hast with thy brother, thine hand shall remit:Save when there shall be no poor with thee: for the Lord shall bless thee in the land, which the Lord thy God giveth thee, for an inheritance to possess it. So that thou hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe and do all these commandments, which I command thee this day. For the Lord thy God hath blessed thee, as he hath promised thee: and thou shalt not borrow, and thou shalt reign over many nations, and they shalln ot reign over thee. if one of thy brethren with thee be por within any of thy gates in thy land, which the Lord thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thine heart,nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother: But thou shalt open thine hand unt ohim, and shalt lend him sufficient for his need which he hath. Beware that there be not a wicked thought in thine heart, to say, The seventh year, the year of freedom is at hand: therefore it giveth thee to look on thy poor brother, and thou givest him nought, and he cry unto the Lord against thee, so that sin be in thee: Thou shalt give him, and let it not grieve thine heart to give unto him: for because of this the Lord thy God shall bless thee in all thy works, and in all that thou puttest thine hand to. Because there shall be ever some poor in the land, therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand unto thy brother, to thy needy, and to thy poor in thy land. If thy brother an Hebrew sell himself to thee, or an Hebrewess, and serve three six years, even in the seventh year thou shalt let him go free from thee: And when thou sendest him out free from thee, thou shat not let him go away empty, But shalt give him a liberal reward of thy sheep, and of thy corn, and of thy wine: thou shalt give him of that wherewith the Lord thy God hath blessed thee. And remember that thou was a servant in the land of Egypt, and the Lord thy God delivered thee: therefore I command thee this thing today. And if he say unto thee, I will not go away from thee, because he loveth thee and thine house, and because he is well with thee, Then shalt thou take an awl, and pierce his ear through against the door, and he shall be thy servant forever: and unto thy maid servant thou shall do likewise. Let it not grieve thee, when thou lettest him go out from thee: for he hath served thee six years, which is the double worth of an hired servant: and the Lord thy God shall bless thee in all thou doest. All the firstborn males that come of thy cattle, and of thy sheep, thou shalt sanctify unto the Lord thy God. Thou shalt do no work with thy firstborn bullock, nor shear thy firstborn sheep. Thou shalt eat it before the Lord thy God year by year, in the place which the Lord shall choose, both thou, and thine household. But if there be any blemish therein, as if it be lame, or blind, or have any evil fruit, thou shalt not offer it unto the Lord thy God, But shalt eat it within thy gates: the unclean, and the clean shall eat it alike, as the roebuck, and as the hart. Only thou shalt not eat the blood thereof, but pour it upon the ground as water. Thou shalt keep the month of Abib, and thou shalt celebrate the Passover unto the Lord thy God: for in the month of Abib the Lord thy God brought thee out of Egypt by night. Thou shalt therefore offer the Passover unto the Lord thy God, of sheep and bullocks in the place where the Lord shall choose to cause his Name to dwell. Thou shalt eat no leavened bread with it: but seven days shalt thou eat unleavened bread therewith, even the bread of tribulation: for thou cames out of the land of Egypt in haste: that thou mayest remember the day when thou camest out of the land of Egypt, all the days of thy life. And there shall be no leaven seen with thee in all thy coasts seven days long: neither shall there remain the night any of the flesh unto the morning which thou offeredst the first day at even. Thou mayest not offer the Passover wthin any of the gates, which the Lord thy God giveth thee: But in the place which the Lord thy God shall choose to place his Name, there thou shalt offer the Passover at even, about the going down of the sun, in the season that thou camest out of Egypt. And thou shalt roast and eat it in the place which the Lord thy God shall choose, and shalt return on the morrow, and go unto thy tents. Six days shalt thou eat unleavened bread, and the seventh day shall be a solemn assembly to the Lord thy God: thou shalt do no work therein. Seven weeks shalt thou number unto thee, and shalt begin to number the sickle to the corn: And thou shalt keep the feast of weeks unto the Lord thy God, even a free gift of thine hand, which thou shalt give unto the Lord thy God, as the Lord thy God hath blessed thee. And thou shalt rejoice before the Lord thy God, thou and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy servant, and thy maid, and the Levite that is within thy gates, and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are among you, in the place which the Lord thy God shall choose to place his Name there, And thou shalt remember that thou wast a servant in Egypt: therefore thou shalt observe and do these ordinances. Thou shalt observe the feast of the Tabernalces seven days, when thou hast gathered in thy corn, and thy wine. And thou shalt rejocie in thy feast, thou and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy servant, and thy maid, and the Levite, andthe stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are within thy gates. Seven days shalt thou keep a feast unto the Lord thy God in the place which the Lord shall choose: when the Lord thy God shall bless thee in all thine incrase, and in all the works of thine hands, thou shalt in any case be glad. Three times in the year shall all the males appear before the Lord thy God in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of the unleavened bread, andin the feast of teh weeks, and in the feast of the Tabernacle: and they shall not appear before the Lord empty. Every man shall give according to the gift of his hand, and according to the blessing of the Lord thy God, which he hath given thee. Judges and officers shalt thou make thee in all thy cities, which the Lord thy God giveth thee, throughout the tribes: and they shall judge the people with righteous judgment. Wrest not thou the Law, nor respect any person, neither take reward: for the reward blindeth the eyes of the wise, and perverteth the words of the just. That which is just and right shalt thou follow, that thou mayest live, and possess the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. Thou shalt set thee up no pillar, which thing the Lord thy God hateth. thou shalt offer unto the Lord thy God no bullock nor sheep wherein is a blemish or any evil favored thing: for that is an abomination unto the Lord thy God. If there be found among you in any of thy cities, which the Lord thy God giveth thee, man or woman that hath wrought wickedness in the sight of the Lord thy god, in transgressing his covenant, And hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them: as the sun, or the moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded, And it be told unto thee, and thou hast heard it, then shalt thou inquire diligently: and if it be true, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought in Israel, Then shalt thou bring forth that man, or that woman (which hath committed that wicked thing) unto thy gates, whether it be man or woman, and shalt stone them with stones, till they die. At the month of two or three witnesses shall he that is worthy of death, die: but at the mouth of one witness, he shall not die. The hands of the witnesses shall be first upon him, to kill him: and afterwards the hands of all the people: so thou shalt take the wicked away from among you. If there rise a matter too hard for thee in judgment between blood and blood, between plea and plea, between plague and plague, in the matter of controversy within thy gates, then shalt thou arise, and go up unto the place which the Lord thy God shall choose, And thou shalt come unto the Priests of the Levites, and unto the Judge that shall be in those days, and ask, and they shall show thee the sentence of judgment, And thou shalt do accordng to that thing, which they of that place (which the Lord hath chosen) show thee, and thou shalt observe to do according to all that they inform thee. According ot the Law, which they shall teach thee, and according to the judgment which they shall tell thee, shalt thou do: thou shalt not decline from the thing which they shalt show thee, neither to the right hand, nor the left. And that man that will do presumptuously, not hearkening unto the Priest (that standeth before the Lord thy God to minister there) or unto the Judge, that man shall die, and thou shalt take away evil from israel. So all the people shall hear and fear, and do no more presumptuously. When thou shalt hear and fear, and do no more presumptuously. When thou shalt come unto the land whcih the Lord thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and dwell therein, if thou say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me, Then thou shalt make him King over thee, whom the Lord thy God shall choose: from among thy brethren shalt thou make a King over thee: thou shalt not set a stranger over thee which is not thy brother. In any wise he shall not prepare him many horses, nor bring the people again to Egypt, for to increase the number of horses, seeing the Lord hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth go no more again that way. Neither shall he take him many wives, lest his heart turn away, neither shall he gather him much silver and gold. And when he shall sit upon the throne of his Kingdom, then shall he write him this law repeated in a book, by the Priest of the Levites. And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all days of his life, that he may learn to fear the Lord his God, and to keep all the words of this Law, and these ordinances to do them: That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not from the commandment, to the right hand or to the left, but that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he and his sons in the midst of Israel. . Deuteronomy 15:1–17:20
- But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of that power might be of God, and not of us. We are afflcted on every side, yet are we not in distress: we are in doubt, but yet we despair not. We are persecuted, but not forsaken: cast down, but we perish not. Everywhere we bear about in our body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus might also be manifest in our mortal flesh. So then death worketh in us, and life in you. And because we have the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken, we also believe, and therefore speak, Knowing that he which hath raised up the Lord Jesus, shall raise us up also by Jesus, and shall set us with you. For all things are for your sakes, that that most plenteous grace by the thanksgiving of many, may rebound to the praise of God. Therefore we faint not, but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed daily. For our light affliction which is but for a moment, causeth unto us a far more excellent and an eteral weight of glory: While we look not on the things which are seen, but on the things which are not seen for the things which are seen, are temporal: but the things which are not seen, are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:7–18
- Fret not thyself because of the wicked men, neither be envious for the evildoers. For they shall soon be cut down like grass, and shall wither as the green herb. Trust thou in the lord and do good: dwell in the land, and thou shalt be fed assuredly: And delight thyself in the Lord, and he shall give thee thine heart’s desire. Commit thy way unto the Lord, and trust in him, and he shall bring it to pass. And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the moon day. Wait patiently upon the Lord, and hope in him: fret not thyself for him which prospereth his way, nor for the man that bringeth his enterprises to pass. Cease from anger, and leave off wrath: fret not thyself also to do evil. For evildoers shall cut off, and they that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the land. Therefore yet a little while and the wicked shall not appear, and thou shalt look after his place, and he shall not be found. But meek men shall possess the earth, and shall have their delight in the multitude of peace. The wicked practiceth against the just, and gnasheth his teeth against him. But the Lord shall laugh him to scorn: for he seeth that his day is coming. The wicked have drawn their sword and have bent their bow, to cast down the poor and needy, and to slay such as be of uprght conversation. But their sword shall enter into their own heart, and their bows shall be broken. A small thing unto the just man is better than great riches to the wicked and mighty. For the arms of the wicked shall be broken: but the Lord upholdeth the just men. The Lord knoweth the days of upright men, and their inheritance shall be perpetual. They shall not be confounded in the perilous time, and in the days of famine they shall have enough. But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the Lord shall be consumed as the fat of lambs: even with the smoke shall they consume away. The wicked borroweth and payeth not again: but the righteous is merciful and giveth. For such as be blessed of God shall inherit the land, and they that be cursed of him, shall be cut off. The paths of man are directed by the Lord: for he loveth his way. Though he fall, he shall not be cast off, for the Lord putteth under his hand. I have been oung, and am old: yet I saw never the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. But he is ever merciful and lendeth, and his seed enjoyeth the blessing. Flee from evil and do good, and dwell forever. For the Lord loveth judgment, and forsaketh nor his Saints: they shall be preserved forevermore: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off. The righteous men shall inherit the land, and dwell therein forever. The mouth of the righteous will speak of wisdom, and his tongue will talk of judgment. for the law of his God is in his heart, and his steps shall not slide. The wicked watched the righteous, and seeketh to slay him. But the Lord will not leave him in his hand, nor condemn him, when he is judged. Wait thou on the Lord, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee, that thou shalt inherit the land: when the wicked men shall perish, thou shalt see. I have seen the wicked strong, and spreading himself like a green bay tree. Yet he passed away, and lo, he was gone, and I sought him, but he could not be found. Mark the upright man, and behold the just: for the end of that man is peace. But their transgressors shall be destroyed together, and the end of the wicked shall be cut off. But the salvationof the righteous men shall be of the Lord: he shall be their strength in the time of trouble. For the Lord shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and shall save them, because they trust in him. Psalm 37:1–22