Bible Roots Of Justice


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  • Bible Roots Of Justice

    1. 1. Old Testament Foundations of Justice <ul><li>1. God created all things good (Genesis 1) </li></ul><ul><li>2. Stewardship (Genesis 1:26) – we are not owners of God’s creation, rather Genesis 1:26 and 28 indicate that humans were put on earth, in part, to cultivate it, to make it more productive, to help creation go on creating. So as stewards managing another’s property, not proprietors, we help carry out God’s intent that the earth’s resources benefit everyone. </li></ul>
    2. 2. <ul><li>3. We stewards to each other ; life is an intricate network of relationships. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>We exist not in isolation but within an intricate web of relationships. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We are never separated from these relationships and they determine who we are. </li></ul></ul>
    3. 3. Just Economics of the Old Testament <ul><ul><ul><li>What are some of these principles? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Jubilee Principle (Leviticus 25:8-13) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>debts to community members were to be cancelled, slaves were to be freed, and each household was to return to its family property </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Sabbath Year </li></ul><ul><ul><li>a year of rest for the land, slaves </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Tithing </li></ul><ul><li>Gleaning </li></ul>
    4. 4. Jubilee Principle <ul><li>Hebrew Scripture Quiz Question! </li></ul><ul><li>In Old Testament times, ________ was the basic means of producing wealth… </li></ul><ul><li>Land! </li></ul><ul><li>In Leviticus 25 it says that every 50 years, all land is to be returned to its original owners (Lev. 25: 10-24) </li></ul><ul><li>This would thus ensure that the gap between the rich and poor would remain small, because the means of producing wealth was equalized regularly… </li></ul>
    5. 5. How could you lose your land in Ancient Israel? Death of Breadwinner Act of God Disability Lack of Natural Ability
    6. 12. The Sabbatical Year or &quot;Year of the Lord's Favor” <ul><li>the Old Testament law also provides for liberation of soil, slaves and debtors every seven years. </li></ul>7 7 7 7 7 7
    7. 13. Land: Every 7 years farmers are not to plant crops (Ex. 23:10-11; Lev. 25:2-7). <ul><li>Ecological – </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Crop rotation allows for nitrogen to return to the soil – preserves the fertility </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Humanitarian – </li></ul><ul><ul><li>&quot;For six years you shall sow your land and gather in its yield; but the seventh year you shall yet it rest and lie fallow, that the poor of your people may eat (Ex. 23:10 11). In the 7th year the poor are free to gather for themselves whatever grows by itself in the fields and vineyards. These are called “volunteers.” </li></ul></ul>
    8. 14. Slaves <ul><li>Hebrew slaves also receive their freedom in the sabbatical year (Deut. 15:12-18). Poverty sometimes forced Israelites to sell themselves as slaves to more prosperous neighbors (Lev. 25:3940). But this inequality, God decrees, is not to be permanent. </li></ul><ul><li>However, what would happen almost immediately after the slave was freed? </li></ul><ul><li>In addition, masters are to share the proceeds of their joint labors with the departing ex-slaves: &quot;And when you let him go free from you, you shall not let him go empty-handed; you shall furnish him liberally out of your flock, out of your threshing floor, and out of your wine press, as the Lord your God has blessed you, you shall give to him&quot; (Deut 15:12-14; see also Ex. 21:2-6) </li></ul>
    9. 15. Debtors <ul><li>Every 7 years all debts are to be cancelled... (Deut. 15:1-6) </li></ul><ul><li>… Provided you were attempting to pay – you’d be excused your debt because the loaner would have made back his money through an initial interest that was very high. </li></ul>
    10. 16. <ul><li>&quot;At the end of every three years you shall bring forth all the tithe of your produce in the same year... and the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow, who are within your towns, shall come and eat and be filled: that the Lord your God may bless you&quot; (Deut 14:28-29; see also Lev. 27:30-32; Deut 26:12-15; Num 18:21-32). </li></ul><ul><li>The Law of Tithing </li></ul><ul><li>The law calls for one-tenth of all farm produce and money, whether animal, grain or wine, to be set aside as a tithe. </li></ul>
    11. 17. 68,500/yr (Median Income for Family of 4 in Portland – 2003, HAP) <ul><li>$68,500 </li></ul><ul><li>/52 weeks/year </li></ul><ul><li>/10% of income </li></ul>=$131.73/wk
    12. 18. Gleaning – “This one’s for God” <ul><li>God's law decreed that farmers should leave some of the harvest, including the corners of grain fields, for the poor. For example, grapes that had been dropped accidentally were to be left. </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;You shall leave them for the poor and the sojourners: I am the Lord your God&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>(Lev. 19:9-10) </li></ul>
    13. 19. Forgotten by time of Jesus…so when Jesus returns to Nazareth… “ When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written: ‘ The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.’ And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. Then he began to say to them, ‘Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.’”
    14. 20. To be continued…