Forgive Us Our Debts

Black Friday. The first news item I saw this morning on “Today” was about a woman, with two young children in tow, who pepper sprayed 20 people in a Los Angeles Walmart. She had been in line for about two hours early this morning waiting for an X-Box and had even told people she had the spray on her. Fortunately, the injuries were minor and treated by the LA Fire Department, who said it could have been much, much worse. Now there’s something to be grateful for!

Her patience apparently having been exhausted, she sprayed, left without the game system, and fled with her two kids. The people around her were shocked that she had waited for so long only to “lose it” and the opportunity for which she so longed.  Virile madness is how I would describe anything to do with what has become known as Black Friday.

Be angry and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger and do not give the devil an opportunity.  Let all bitterness and wrath and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Ephesians 4:26-27 & 31

More sage advice has yet to be given concerning forgiveness. Yet, this is a mere starting point. You’re entering the portal of a new world and jumping into the cool air of a new life in Him when you take this on. It’s not natural to do this in adversity, yet we must. Jesus Christ set this example for all of us. No parachute required-He provides our wings, if we believe in Him.

In the ancient world, God had established feast days each year for His chosen people to follow. The end result was a well established, and prosperous nation, Israel which entered the promised land many hundreds of years after the deal that God had made with Abraham. Only two of the original generation to leave Egypt, Joshua and Caleb made this entry, taking down Jericho in the manner that God demanded.

About 500 years after this covenant was made, God led the Israelites into the wilderness where they complained and generally grieved against the God who delivered them and was fulfilling this covenant,  just not fast enough to suit his embittered, and angry children. Moses got very angry, too and his petulance led to his death in the wilderness without entering into the Lord’s promised rest. Sort of sounds like the woman in Walmart, doesn’t it?

Forgive us our debts. The feast I mentioned earlier was not a single day. It was an entire year called the Year of Jubilee. To my way of thinking, this was the most revolutionary concept of forgiveness and financial freedom in history until Jesus Christ came into the world to save us from sins, so many of which come from greed, covetousness, and poverty-both economic and moral.

Imagine a world in which every 50 years, all of your debts, your families debts, your property, in short everything of any financial value became automatically unencumbered!  That is the Year of Jubilee. A gift like this could never, in my humble opinion, originate with carnal man-it is not, as the saying goes, “in our DNA” to unconditionally forgive anyone, any debt. But God can, and did so for generations. This is a wonderful concept but too long to print here. Do yourself a favor and challenge yourself with this idea from Leviticus 25 & 26.

God’s promise to those who obey Him, as always, is the best part.

If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commands,  I will send you rain in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees of the field their fruit. Your threshing will continue until grape harvest and the grape harvest will continue until planting, and you will eat all the food you want and live in safety in your land.  I will grant peace in the land, and you will lie down and no one will make you afraid. I will remove savage beasts from the land, and the sword will not pass through your country. You will pursue your enemies, and they will fall by the sword before you.  Five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand, and your enemies will fall by the sword before you.  I will look on you with favor and make you fruitful and increase your numbers, and I will keep my covenant with you.  You will still be eating last year’s harvest when you will have to move it out to make room for the new.  I will put my dwelling place among you, and I will not abhor you.  I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people. Leviticus 26:3-12

What would the world be like if we all forgave the physical debts, the sin debts and other painful forms of indebtedness throughout the world just for one year?  Impossible to imagine, I guess, but still worth a try.

I encourage you to take this challenge and challenge others to do this, also.

God bless you all mightily!


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