Pray Globally, Act Locally

Feature - Vinoth

Neither technology nor global capitalism is the world’s savior. It is only God in Christ who is the redeemer of the world.

This redemption was prefigured and typified in the liberation of ancient Israel from slavery in Egypt and their settlement in the land of promise. The covenant law enshrines strict controls on economic debt, rates of interest, and the measures creditors can take to recover their loans (Deuteronomy 15:1-10; 24:6-22). In the Jubilee legislation of Leviticus 25, after every seven sabbatical years all slaves were to be released, the debts of the poor cancelled, and the land left fallow and returned to the original distribution among families and clans.

It is surely significant that the Levitical Jubilee was to be proclaimed in Israel on the Day of Atonement. Forgiveness for the nation implied not only her restoration to covenant relationship with God but also the restoration to the community of all who had been estranged. The righting of relationships in the whole community was inseparable from the experience of forgiveness from God.

Sensitivity to the burden of debt no doubt reflected the experience of Israel as a people in Egypt prior to their liberation by Yahweh. In a time of severe famine, all those living in Egypt came to Joseph, saying: "Buy us and our land in exchange for food, and we with our land will be in bondage to Pharaoh" (Genesis 47:18-19). Debt enslaves, and the enslavement is bequeathed to future generations.

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Sojourners Magazine May 2004
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