Now I am no expert in the financial stock markets and investments, but one thing that seems to happen every seven years or so is the stock markets have a slump. This has the effect of levelling them out and if many stocks were overpriced, they seem to come back to a more normal level. Every 50 years or so they also seem to have a major crash too.
As I have been reflecting on this lately I have been thinking back to the Old Testament principle of the Year of Jubilee. The Year of Jubilee happened every 50 years after seven cycles of seven years. In this year no-one was to sow or reap crops, land reverted back to original family ownership and slaves were released.
This Year of Jubilee was very important in Israel’s economic life as it had the effect of restarting their economy and placing everyone back on an even footing. It gave everyone the chance to start over economically and socially. It also stopped being individuals or families from being trapped in a permanent underclass and being slaves forever.
I find this whole principle of resetting the economy and allowing people to start over again very interesting. I can’t help but wonder how different our world would be if it was in place today? I wonder if the gap between rich and poor would be so great? I wonder if many people who seem to be in permanent slavery would find themselves in a much better place socially and economically as a result of this resetting? I also wonder if the stock markets would need to crash if they had this automatic reset built into them every 50 years? It makes me wonder…
One of the great things about God is that He is never far away. Even though sometimes in our lives we might feel like we are living in exile or being held captive, He is always willing to bring us a message of hope.
We see this in the Old Testament book of Jeremiah. In chapter 29 we see that the Israelites had been taken off into captivity and were living in a foreign land under harsh leadership. In the midst of this God tells Jeremiah to write a letter with words of encouragement to the people.
Chapter 29 verses 11-14 reads, “This is what the LORD says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my gracious promise to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity.”
In the midst their captivity God tells them that He hasn’t finished with them. He says a time will come where they will be brought out of captivity and returned to their own land. He even says that He has great plans to prosper them!
I think it is a great reminder to all of us now that may feel like we are being held captive. God is not far away and He is always looking to a time of restoration. He wants us to be with Him and He wants to bless us. And even though we feel alone at times, like we are strangers in a foreign land, we are always on His mind and always in His heart.
I think that is worth reflecting on today.
One of my favourite passages of Scritpure comes from Psalms 1:1-3. It says…
Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.
When you look at this passage you find five things that give you advice on how to be successful in life. It shows you some things you should do and some things you should avoid.
Here they are…
- Don’t listen to or take advice from bad people.
- Don’t hang around with people you know are doing the wrong thing.
- Don’t join in with people mocking or running down others.
- Take delight in God’s Word.
- Meditate on the content of God’s Word day and night.
The result of this…
God promises a properous life that yields fruit at the right time and you prosper in whatever you do.
I don’t know about you, but that sounds good to me!