Summary: Do we covet others' materials? Do we engage in idle, unhealthy conversations?
Prattle and Covetous Materialism
In this Old Testament reading, we can readily categorize the message in two major parts. This Prophet Micah warns against
1) Covetous Materialism and
2) Idle Prattle.
“Covetous Materialism” – Wanting to have the most and the best. We see a lot of this don’t we? Always driving a fancy car, dressed in the finest, even casual dress it will be the good stuff. Why do you suppose? Is it because of the quality or to be viewed with envy?
“Prattle” – I haven’t heard that word since grade school days. It means idle, silly, almost meaningless talk. We ourselves are probably guilty of prattling from time to time by spouting off on one thing or another only to dominate a conversation or be the center of attention, not to share anything meaningful. How childish of us! But we sometimes do, don’t we? BE HONEST now.
When God brought His People, the Israelites out of slavery to the Egyptians to the land of “milk and honey” His plan was to give everyone equal opportunities to prosper and live in peaceful harmony. There are always a few that want more. The shrewd found ways to amass fortunes off the backs of these pilgrims. Can we understand that God laid out this plan for His people? So as to guard against land barons, slum lords and a quasi-type of enslavement that may be described as “share cropping” or “owing to the company store”, the practice of Jubilee Year came into play.
Okay, let’s pause here and back up to Leviticus 25:8-12.
Leviticus 25:8-12 “You shall count seven weeks of years, seven times seven years, so that the time of the seven weeks of years shall give you forty-nine years. Then you shall sound the loud trumpet on the tenth day of the seventh month. On the Day of Atonement, you shall sound the trumpet throughout all your land. And you shall consecrate the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you, when each of you shall return to his property and each of you shall return to his clan. That fiftieth year shall be a jubilee for you; in it you shall neither sow nor reap what grows of itself nor gather the grapes from the undressed vines. For it is a jubilee. It shall be holy to you. You may eat the produce of the field.”
We could spend a lot of time studying “The Jubilee”. The year of Jubilee rolled around every fifty years. In the year of Jubilee, all debts were cancelled; all liens were deemed null and void; properties held from the owners was returned. In other words, all indebtedness was erased, and everyone got a “do over”. If only that was a modern-day practice, there would be a countless number of very happy folks, me included.
The word “Jubilee” is from the Hebrew word “yobel” which means “ram’s horn”. The ram’s horn was sounded so that all would hear.
Is there a significance for today’s Christian in understanding the Jubilee? Read the following Scriptures:
6 For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11 And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. Romans 5:6-11
“This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent” (John 6:28-29).
Our indebtedness was paid in full and we were rescued from slavery (to sin) in the crucifixion and resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ. I prefer that debt to be paid in full more so than credit card debts, car payments, mortgage payments, etc. How about you? Of course, there are some that would and others that have sold themselves into slavery by worshiping materialism over God. May the Holy Spirit reach them and bring them back.
As to the reference of “prattle”, there are two ways to view this. False prophecy – false prophets will espouse as facts and as from God many things and in many ways. It is our responsibility to test the prophecy that we hear against Scripture which is our only means of assurance of TRUTH. That can be difficult and may require some assistance from a good biblical scholar or a trusted pastor. It is so easy to listen to any speaker sharing philosophical points or opinions and know right off that his/her purpose is to draw attention to himself rather than for the good of the gospel. It cannot be said enough, “guard the gospel truth”.