Now, cancelling debt every seven years seems great for the person in debt but not so great for the lender.
Reference: v.1 At the end of every seven years you must cancel debts. (NIV Bible)
Explore: My husband and I are currently building a new house. That means we have just entered in to the world of the mortgage. We are proud of the saving efforts we have made over the last few years but it is rather daunting to enter in to an agreement where you may have this debt hanging over you for 30 years. I mean, that's a debt that could last as long as I've been alive! Now, all things being well we will be able to pay off our house sooner than that, however it's still a long period of time to owe money.
Application: In the time that God chose the Israelites to leave Egypt and enter in to the Promised Land he gave them many guidelines on how they were to live their lives. One of their laws was to cancel any personal debt after seven years. Now, that seems great for the person in debt but not so great for the lender. However, the lender would have known about this law before they lent their money. Therefore, a wise lender would only lend money to someone who had the capacity to pay it back within seven years. In one sense, this law is helping people to budget. It is a way of restricting people in how much money they can borrow. If they are not going to be able to pay it back within seven years then it is unlikely that someone would lend them money.
We are just moving out of a stage in mortgages where the banks would lend you 100% of your loan so that you would not need any deposit for your house. I saw this as a crazy way of loaning money because it would mean that you would be bound by a huge amount of debt for a very long time. We are not meant to live so far beyond our means that it cripples us financially. While we no longer have a year for canceling debts it is certainly good to budget our finances so that we can live debt free. Then we have greater capacity to be as generous as God has instructed us to be.
Prayer: Lord, it is so easy to desire that which we can not have. Help us to be aware that the way we use our money is another way we can worship and honour You. Amen.
How are your finances at the moment? Does your budget allow you to be generous towards others?
This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.