Saturday, October 13, 2007

The Days of Elijah - Kid Humor and Redemption

We sang "The Days of Elijah" a couple of weeks ago in church. The choir and orchestra has offered it in worship as special music (sans congregation) once or twice before. This time, as we do with some special music, we brought it out and sang it again as congregational worship.

My 8-year-old daughter has heard it numerous times on the radio or on a recording that I have had, or as I have sung it around the house. With it being sung in church recently, it was certainly fresh on her mind. Somewhere along the way she has either learned or invented hand motions to go along with it and she wanted to show them to me.

There is a line in the music as such: "Lift your voice, it's the year of Jubilee, and out of Zion's hill salvation comes." As is the source of so many children's humorous errors, she mis-heard it. Her version was, "Lift your voice, hear it to believe..."

That's not bad. We certainly often hear to believe. It also gave me an opportunity to teach her what it means for us today.

The year of Jubilee was part of the Law of Moses. You can find it in Leviticus 25 with some additional information in chapter 27 (and a blurb in Numbers 36). The term "Jubilee" was not used outside of the Law to refer to the year. It was often descriptive (ex. "year of liberty" in Eze 46:17) or merely alluded to (Neh 5:1-19; 2 Chr 36:21) and the context would indicate that a writer was referring to Jubilee. As such, Isaiah mentioned it in 61:1-2 which was quoted in Luke 4:17-21 by Christ. The term "year of our Lord" refers to Jubilee and is evident when you see the context. Here we see the prophetic purpose of Jubilee in the Law that was fulfilled in Christ.

Every seventh year was to be a sabbath. and the year after every seventh sabbath year (every 50 years) was to be the year of jubilee. This year, the inheritance of the Hebrews was to be restored. For 49 years they would buy and sell land. Some would prosper and others would not. Some would sell themselves into slavery for a time to survive if they had come on hard financial times. At the year of Jubilee, they were to be set free and their historic inheritance restored to them. The fiscal playing field was to be leveled.

I'm a capitalist and I don't apologize for it. The free market is the best system in the world because it provides incentive to create wealth. When the wealthy prosper, so do the rest of us. And in a free market, I have the same opportunity to create wealth as anyone else. However I believe, because of the year of Jubilee, that the utter redistribution of wealth is a divinely ordered principle - and there is no call for it to be wasted on the government. The principle is to illustrate that our redemption is of the Lord and there is no mediator in whom we are to be indebted. When we are freed from our bondage to sin, we have none but our Lord to praise.

...and out of Zion's hill salvation comes.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! PTL! A positive spin on the economy...may Jesus Christ be lifted up through this all...

Sun Oct 12, 03:29:00 PM GMT-5  

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