The Bible teaches:
“To love your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:27)
“He who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord” (Proverbs 9:17)
In our global world today, our neighbor is not just the family that lives next door to us, but includes entire villages of poor people who live an entire continent away.
In the Old Testament (Leviticus 25:8-55), God laid out a radical plan for His people that provided for economic justice, redistribution of resources, and the restoration of all people in order that all men would be able to “be fruitful and increase in number” (Genesis 1:28-31).
This plan centered around the Year of Jubilee (the fiftieth year), a year in which:
Liberty was proclaimed for all people
All property was returned to its original owners
All slaves were released from bondage
The rich were to help the poor
God provided the Year of Jubilee to ensure that none would accumulate massive amounts of wealth while others suffered nearby and did not have enough to simply live.
Even though we no longer live under the Levitical Law today, the guiding principles behind the Jubilee commandments are as eternal as the God who created them: that God loves all people, He wants none to be poor and suffering, and He wants no man to be exploited or oppressed by his fellow man.
In the Old Testament, the call to practice Jubilee was given to those who had received more than what was needed for the necessities of life. From a global perspective today, at least 95% of North Americans have received an abundant blessing and the calling to practice Jubilee should speak loudly in their lives.
Christians are called to obey God’s Word. Today, the call to practice Jubilee is given to God's people that have been richly blessed.