[This is the MILLERWRITES contribution to the 2012 Blogging A to Z April Challenge Here is my INTRODUCTION to this particular series, and an opportunity for you to influence which alphabetically aligned weird words I will comment on this month. THANK YOU for stopping by!]
From Leviticus 25
35 “‘If any of your fellow Israelites become poor and are unable to support themselves among you, help them as you would a foreigner and stranger, so they can continue to live among you. 36 Do not take interest or any profit from them, but fear your God, so that they may continue to live among you. 37 You must not lend them money at interest or sell them food at a profit. 38 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt to give you the land of Canaan and to be your God.
Can you imagine living in an economy that would abide by these rules? When this was given to the newly formed people of Israel, after their deliverance from slavery in Egypt, they were forbidden to charge any interest, any USURY, at all to their poor countrymen. Verse 37 even forbids making a profit when selling them food! Why? So that these poor would not get frustrated and move away. In God's economy, things other than what we value, rise in importance.
This rule was followed, for a while. But like most of God's commands and instructions for good societal living, this one too began to be neglected. Ultimately the term USURY came to mean 'exorbitant' interest, so regular interest could be charged, because that was not USURY any more, which was forbidden. Are we not too clever for our own good?
Did you know that it was King Henry VIII, in 1545, who first legalized the charging of interest? Me neither, but according to Wikipedia, this one act produced "a pivotal change in the English-speaking world".
If only we people had listened, did listen, would listen, to what God has to say about living. How do we ever think to judge whether HE knows how we should best live?
But if you like this post, send me 68% of whatever is in your pocket right now!