Hebrew For Four Year
Is Multiple Streams of Income Taught in The Bible?
We often get lax in our attitude about how scripture actually applies to every day life, and don’t really get the connection that the Bible is designed to be the hand book, the instruction manual for life…period.
So the question in the title “Is multiple streams of income taught in the Bible?” becomes a question of puzzlement to most Christians, because the term “multiple streams” doesn’t appear anywhere in scripture. Much less, the question in most Christian’s minds is “Why in the world would you even be talking about work, or ‘worldly income’ anyway”?
The Bible has something to say about the subject, but it is not where you would think it would come from.
In the Hebrew Economy the concept of Sabbaths or “Rests” is all over the scriptures. The most recognizable being our Sunday or Sabbath Rest.
The fourth commandment being that commandment about the Sabbath and the rest from work. There are other rests however in the Bible: the land resting from the enemies, the seventh year of release (land, servants, loans, ect…), the year of Jubilee and others.
The Sabbath rests that were commanded in the Bible are designed to hit our pocketbooks and make us have faith in God. Christians for example believe that they should work six days and rest the seventh day. That means that a Christian will not endeavor to gain wealth on the seventh day but will view it the way God commands, doing works of charity (works of mercy), and assembling of ourselves together in corporate worship.
It takes faith to believe that God is going to bless six days worth of work and will dishonor or curse seven days of work. He will make you more productive, have more blessing if you work six days versus seven.
What occurs in a Christians mind is an allocation of resources. The Christian prepares for the day where he will not be paid and reorganizes his life accordingly so that he can afford to work six days and not the seventh. This may seem like a rationalization, however it is more a mindset of the Christian to allocate resources and save.
The reality also is that the saving affect gives you a reserve and does not allow you the luxury of consuming every moment and having not enough when a stressful time occurs.
The seventh year of release is another sabbath that was mentioned. In the Sabbath the land is rested on the seventh year. In this year the farmers is not allowed to plant the field or harvest from it. In the law there is a promise that the field will produce enough in the six years and allow the farmer plenty in the seventh year. Again it takes faith to believe that God is going to accomplish this. It takes faith to believe that God is going to provide, it takes faith to believe that the land truly needs a rest as well.
Scientific studies have been showing that the land needs a rest and that the concept of crop rotation is essential for proper soil temperament. The soil become depleted and unproductive if it is not given rest.
However, while the questions we should ask ourselves is during the seventh year was the farmer doing?
If the farmer only in one field and he was commanded to rest this field where in the world is the income coming from to sustain his family?
Additionally, since we are supposed to be good stewards with our lives and not sitting around doing nothing, as Peter says “he who does not work should not eat”, what was the farmer doing?
The farmer would be expanding his business horizons in other directions. More than likely the farmer would expand his business opportunities in areas like wool and woodworking. Instead of being a man who only knows how to do one thing he would be able to handle multiple different occupations successfully.
We need to understand that this release was not just on farmers, it was on the whole community, because servants were to be released and loans were to be released. This release system prevented perpetual slavery to be developed, but it also expanded productivity and investment on a grand scale.
From the surface this seems counterintuitive, that releasing would just prevent societal development, but on the contrary it make for a more abundant system.
This is critical in developing a community, and developing businesses. Additionally it makes the farmer lest the dependent upon farming for existence.
It is interesting that God sent the Israelites into captivity for not observing the seventh year of release. In fact he tallied it up and said their “70 years worth of seven-year releases that have been denied me.”
God is making a statement about the loss that the Hebrew culture had cultivated over of this expansive period of time. In their idolatry's they had forsaken a life-giving way of living. They had forsaken God's way of running their lives and as a consequence they had been suffering for it and had been prone to all sorts of famine and curse due to their lack of good stewardship.
If what I just said is not some clear I will say it in a different way: God has a certain way that his world is to operate. When it is not operated this way curse will result. Curse being the tendency of life to go towards death, and the consequence of living against God is that life around us will tend to put us to death.
The seventh year of release is so vital in God's eyes towards developing a proper mindset towards his creation that he had to send his people away into captivity so they would get the point.
The benefits of the seventh year release are more than just the land itself, it cultivates a mindset of trust in God number one and number two, it forces good stewardship upon the person involved. The person must organize his life so that he is not caught with all his eggs in one basket, so that when crisis and travails occur they are not as stressful.
Christ stated “I have not come to destroy the world but to make it more abundant.” The Christian through the grace of God is a caretaker of this world and is forced into good stewardship to make the resources given him to multiply.
Again, as Paul stated in Ephesians 3 “you are a new creation unto good works.” The good work that we are to do is to establish righteousness and the earth and run the civilization according to God's commands.
The socialistic idea of property ownership as being wicked is one of the first of things the wicked to try to abolish, because they know that Christianity and its stand in the earth depend on it. The seventh year release commandment relies on ownership and when ownership is abolished the whole mindset that could be developed through seventh year release thinking is gone with it.
God in his wisdom has designed a civilization, called righteousness, that will force Christians to live their lives frugally and effectively. Instead of asking the state to solve our problems, the Christian solves the problems for his neighbor through free enterprise. Instead of being caught with only one income to provide for himself the Christian is able to think outside of the box and use multiple streams of income to stem the flood of curse.
In the world today we sit on the brink of judgment as the Lord looks at the church and is shaking his head in disapproval as we play around with his word. We say his Old Testament does not apply anymore and therefore we abandon any study of it. But lo and behold Gods word does work and does make sense and is productive and gives life.
Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”