Today we read about the rest God proclaimed for the land and the people. The Sabbath year and the Jubilee remind us that God owns it all, and that he is more than able to meet our needs in life. Are you relying on the Lord and celebrating his provision for you today?
1 The Lord said to Moses at Mount Sinai, 2 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When you enter the land I am going to give you, the land itself must observe a sabbath to the Lord. 3 For six years sow your fields, and for six years prune your vineyards and gather their crops. 4 But in the seventh year the land is to have a year of sabbath rest, a sabbath to the Lord. Do not sow your fields or prune your vineyards. 5 Do not reap what grows of itself or harvest the grapes of your untended vines. The land is to have a year of rest. 6 Whatever the land yields during the sabbath year will be food for you—for yourself, your male and female servants, and the hired worker and temporary resident who live among you, 7 as well as for your livestock and the wild animals in your land. Whatever the land produces may be eaten.
8 “‘Count off seven sabbath years—seven times seven years—so that the seven sabbath years amount to a period of forty-nine years. 9 Then have the trumpet sounded everywhere on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the Day of Atonement sound the trumpet throughout your land. 10 Consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you; each of you is to return to your family property and to your own clan.
23 “‘The land must not be sold permanently, because the land is mine and you reside in my land as foreigners and strangers.
Leviticus 25:1-10, 23
I think the bottom line of the Jubilee is that God owns everything and his people are temporary users of God’s possession. The permanent ownership of land was as God defined it, and every 50 years, the trade of land was nullified and property was returned to God’s defined owners, based on the tribal land allocations God made.
In fact, when a field was sold, it was sold for a price that reflected the number of crops left until the Jubilee.
The Jubilee was the Sabbath of Sabbaths. After seven Sabbath years (which occurred every seven years), there would be the Jubilee year (every 50th year). The land would rest and the people would eat what was produced naturally by the land without planting. In other words, the people would rely upon what God provided for them.
Imagine taking every seventh year off work. Imagine relying on the Lord for a whole year out of every seven. Would that not teach us to rely on God every day and every year? The power and purpose of God’s provision for his people is undeniable and ever-present, yet we often act as if the spin of the world depends on us.
The Sabbath year and the Jubilee remind us that God owns it all, and that he is more than able to meet our needs in life. Are you relying on the Lord and celebrating his provision for you today?