Friday, May 23, 2014

Care of the Land

O. T. #295  "Care of the Land"
May 23, 2014
Leviticus 25-Part 2
The fiftieth year shall be a jubilee for you; do not sow and do not reap what grows of itself or harvest the untended vines.  Leviticus 25:11 NIV 


I recall listening to my dad and his brothers and dad talk whenever we got together. They shared what they were doing on their farms. Most of the time it was the concern for more rain for the grass to grow, then a dry spell for them to cut it for hay and get it into the barn. Owning land and farming was a top importance in my family. They had cattle, which ate from the good of the land, were raised and sold for their living.
Do you own land? Are any of you farmers? Do you own a lot on which your house sits in the suburbs?
Did you know that God instructed the Israelites about the care of their land when they came into the Promised Land? Let me share what I found in this chapter about their land.

We found out in our previous study that the Sabbatic Year occurred every seventh year. Today we are going to talk about the special year called The Year of Jubilee.

Jubilee means acclamation of joy; blowing of trumpets; joyful sound; loud noise; rejoicing, shout; battle cry; alarm.

What do we learn about this special year of celebration for the Jews, The Year of Jubilee?
  • It occurred after the seventh sabbatic year, every 50 years according to the Jewish calendar. (verse 8)
  •  It was announced by the blowing of trumpets on the Day of Atonement. (verse 9)
  • The year began with fasting and repentance of the nation confessing its sins to God. (Lev.16)
  • Possessions of land which had been sold reverted back to its original owner, providing liberty of the land. (verse 10)
  • Since the land was to lie fallow, no sowing or harvest of crops was to take place. (verse 11-16) The Israelites had to trust God to provide for their needs during the 49th, 50th, and 51st years.That's three years, if you are counting. 

In verses 8-17 and 23-24, we read of the special instructions concerning the land. The people did not own the land, for God had given it to them (Gen. 12:1-3; 15:7; 17:8; Deut. 5:16), permitting Israel to use it, yet He always had control of it.

God owns the earth and all that is in it (Ps. 24:1). The people of Israel were, in fact, only tenants on the land by the Lord's grace.Therefore, ownership of property was temporary, not permanent. (MacArthur)

His people were to walk in the fear of the Lord and not use their wealth to oppress one another. (Wiersbe)

Liberty Bible Commentary has this to say: 
Obedience is what God expects. Sadly enough, Israel soon departed from this Sabbath-for-the-land observance. thus, after 490 years of neglect God removed His people to captivity in Babylon in 606 B.C.and allowed the land to take all seventy missed Sabbaths at once! 
One way or the other, God will get what belongs to Him. I have experienced it in the area of tithing. If we lacked faith and did not give the Lord the ten percent that belonged to Him, something would happen that week and the money was gone. There were times that one in our family would get sick and need medicine. Tithing is only a small way we can learn to obey God and trust Him as we live by faith.

I wonder if we could take a year of vacation when we turn 50 years old. No, Christians have been set free from the Law; we follow Jesus' teachings.

Are we joyful? Do others see us so bogged down with stuff, working for it and maintaining it, that we have lost the joy of our salvation? Do we give our burdens to Jesus to bear?


Wiersbe's Expository Outlines on the Old Testament explains this:
The Year of Jubilee looks forward to the kingdom age when Jesus Christ will reign in glory and fulfill the promises made to the Jewish people. (See Isa. 61) In a spiritual sense, the Year of Jubilee also pictures our Christian life (Luke 4:16-21, which is quoted from Isaiah 61:1-2). In His reading of the OT in the synagogue that Sabbath in Nazareth, Jesus stopped with the acceptable year of the Lord, which refers to the Year of Jubilee. He did not read the day of vengeance of our God (Isa. 61:2); for that day of judgment will not come until after God has finished His present program of calling out a people for His name (Acts 15:14).

 Are you ready for the coming of Jesus?


Hold my land loosely.

Be ready for the return of Jesus.

Don't hold things too tightly, for it will all be gone when the last trumpet sounds.

Be listening.

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