The Cost of Living

People are worried about the cost of living. Prices of things we consider essential are rising almost out of control. And this affects many people in many countries. We keep hearing about the poverty trap: a helpless situation. And there is pressure on governments to help; pleas to save people from crisis.

The Law of Moses had provision for the poor. The Jews were commanded to care for them, not exploiting them or making profit from them. Even if a poor person volunteered himself as a hired worker in order to survive, he could be redeemed. And he was only required to serve for a limited period of time. Some of the instructions were:

He shall treat him as a worker hired year by year. He shall not rule ruthlessly over him in your sight. And if he is not redeemed by these means, then he and his children with him shall be released in the year of jubilee

Leviticus 25:53 & 54

Being ‘redeemed’ is a theme in the Bible; the most important example being Jesus Christ. Jesus died a cruel death so that we could be redeemed from the worst possible crisis: the fact that as sinners we naturally die and perish. A situation which, without Jesus, is utterly helpless and hopeless.

Jesus said that he:

 came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.

Mark 10:45

The apostle Peter wrote to believers:

you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold,but with the precious blood of Christ.

1 Peter 1:18 &19

Jesus does not ask for much in return, but he does ask us to follow him and try to obey God in this life. This involves loving and caring for others. In return he offers us eternal life. He has ‘paid the price’ for this, doing much more than we could ever begin to achieve. Surely this is the ultimate cost of living!

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