The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, after King Zedekiah had made a covenant with all the people in Jerusalem to make a proclamation of liberty to them, that everyone should set free his Hebrew slaves, male and female, so that no one should enslave a Jew, his brother. And they obeyed, all the officials and all the people who had entered into the covenant that everyone would set free his slave, male or female, so that they would not be enslaved again. They obeyed and set them free. (Jeremiah 34:8-10) But they changed their mind soon afterwards, with devastating results.
Therefore thus saith the Lord; Ye have not hearkened unto me, in proclaiming liberty, every one to his brother, and every man to his neighbour: behold, I proclaim a liberty for you, saith the Lord, to the sword, to the pestilence, and to the famine; and I will make you to be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth.Jeremiah 34:17
What could be so difficult about setting people (your own people!) free especially when it is a centuries old practice and policy? It seems that some people choose having servants over doing the right thing. Sounds familiar, does it not?
Jubilee – release and pause
The jubilee (yobel ) was the noise of trumpets that announced the freedom ( dor ) of the Hebrew people and their land (a) every 7th year and (b) every 50th year. The 7th and 50th years provided pauses that refreshed the land and prevented the impoverishment of all citizens. No miracle or four year term can imitate the jubilee.
The so-called tax breaks that governments hand out are a corruption of the principle that every citizen has a piece of the pie which cannot be diminished in perpetuity. God said “adjust it every 7th year and fix it every 50th year”.
The road to ruin is paved by nationalist cruelty and the exploitation of poverty
God can do no less to the nations of our modern era than he did to Judah. Some people may think that God has parked his justice eye, but all dictators and capitalists with or without colonialist dreams are either on shaky legs or facing ruin. We are witnessing the mighty – who swear they need a perpetual workforce that serves 1% – heading for an encounter with sword, pestilence, famine; and removal into all the kingdoms of the earth.
Witness Yahweh’s gracious wit: proclaiming a release.
If the American government “answer” to the pestilence of 2019 includes unprecedented injections into health care why is the forked-tongued GOP and the dear leader holding up the delivery of adequate and affordable health care to all Americans? Pants down again! There is not enough Personal Protective Equipment, there are not enough beds, ventilators, or tests for the president’s base. There’s the love of a misfiring 45! The consequences are eerily similiar to those when Jeremiah watched Judah fritter away a “last chance” to behave like humans instead of animals.
“Therefore thus says the Lord, ‘You have not obeyed Me in proclaiming release each man to his brother and each man to his neighbor. Behold, I am proclaiming a release to you,’ declares the Lord, ‘to the sword, to the pestilence and to the famine; and I will make you a terror to all the kingdoms of the earth.Jeremiah 34:17