Tuesday Reading: Leviticus 24:1-25:46 (additional reading Psalm 44:9-26 and Proverbs 10:20-21)
Key Verses: “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. 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. For it is a jubilee and is to be holy for you; eat only what is taken directly from the fields. Leviticus 25:10-12
In the popular Robin Mark worship song “These are the days of Elijah.” There is a line which says ‘This is the year of Jubilee’, most of us have sung it, but I wonder how many of us know exactly what we are singing.
Today, as we read from Leviticus where the details for the year of jubilee were laid down. Basically, it could be described as a whole year of freedom. No work was to be done in the fields, slaves were freed, debts cleared and property returned to its original owners. It was the great equaliser.
The slavery spoken about is not the usual type of slavery which we might think about. It is not the slavery of a subject race by a conqueror. It was when someone got into debt that he could not pay, they were taken as a slave to pay the debts. When the year of jubilee came round the debt was forgiven and the man was set free. So in one case, there was the forgiveness but also restoration.
The year of jubilee was a great leveller, your ancestral lands were returned, slaves were released and unpaid debts were cancelled. Technically then, the land which belonged to you could not be sold but only leased until the next jubilee year and the price that was paid was worked out in relation to this. So if you “bought” a field just after the jubilee year you paid a lot more than you did if you “bought” the same field nearer to the time of the jubilee year. It was a reminder to the people that the land was not really theirs but was God’s who entrusted it to them. They were just looking after it.
The ultimate concept associated with Jubilee was that of forgiveness and restoration. Debts were forgiven and lands restored to the condition that God had given them on first entering the land. This picture in Leviticus paints for us a beautiful preview of what Jesus accomplished. He came to usher in the year of jubilee, not only offering forgiveness for sin and also restoring to us everything which the Father had planned.
- How would you view your things if they had to be returned every x number of years?
- How has Christ set you free?
- What has God restored in your life?
Father, Thank You for both forgiven us and restoring us. Thank You for everything You have blessed us with. Help us to remember that everything belongs to You and to be thankful for all you bless us with. In Jesus’ name, Amen