The Year of Jubilee

Completely random bit this time, but it has been on my mind. Biblically I’ve seen that God decreed a Year of Jubilee once every 50 years. (Yes, for the scholars out there, I know these years don’t equate to our years. I’ve also heard that the Jews never actually celebrated the Year of Jubilee, but I’m hoping that information is wrong. That is irrelevant to my point.)

I happen to think that God is the expert on human nature, and find it amusing that He thought it appropriate to "reset" the nation every 50 years. The point of the Year of Jubilee was that all debts were forgiven, all slaves freed, and everyone returned to their family inheritance. So, if someone had pushed themselves into debt and been forced to sell off the family farm — or the family — everything went back to the way it was in the Year of Jubilee. 50 years…enough time to get oneself into trouble, I’d say. Certainly seems to have been enough time for me.

What would happen to our economy if all debts were miraculously forgiven? I’ve thought about that a lot — being indebted up to my eyeballs and understanding the meaning of "the debtor is slave to the lender." Would the banks fall? Well, they’re doing that anyway. If there WAS such a thing as a Year of Jubilee, do you think maybe lending practices would be different? Is it possible that there would be people whose sole income didn’t come from the outrageous interest rates they charge?

Some days I take a calculator and total up the amount we’ve paid on our debts over the years. Y’know…it’s more than we ever borrowed. Not being an economist or an accountant, I often wonder how the economy is supposed to work. Isn’t it supposed to be a closed system? I mean, you shouldn’t just be able to go out and make more money — but apparently you can. The entire thing seems like a giant multi-level marketing scheme to me…and more and more often I find myself wanting to step aside, take a bit of time off, clear my head, get back to what is important in life.

It may well be time for my own personal Year of Jubilee. Seems like the natural cure for a depression.

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