Leviticus 25:1-7,10,54-55 The LORD said to Moses at Mount Sinai, “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. For six years sow your fields, and for six years prune your vineyards and gather their crops. 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. Do not reap what grows of itself or harvest the grapes of your untended vines. The land is to have a year of rest. 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, as well as for your livestock and the wild animals in your land. Whatever the land produces may be eaten... 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... “‘Even if someone is not redeemed in any of these ways, they and their children are to be released in the Year of Jubilee, for the Israelites belong to me as servants. They are my servants, whom I brought out of Egypt. I am the LORD your God.
Many aspects of life in those Mosaic times are very odd to us and we find them hard to understand or accept. Slavery is one such concept and keeps us wondering how a God of love would permit such things.
In this long and exhaustive chapter on the year of jubilee, what could be relevant to us in today's time and how does this draw us closer to God?
The forty years the Israelites spent in the desert were preparatory years for the centuries ahead as God was instructing them in His ways and His law.
Every aspect of their lives were dealt with in great detail and God laid out for them what His heart was and where He was leading His people.
However, we must remember that like with Adam and Eve, humans have been prone to sin and this causes us to fall far away from the glory and will of God.
Our desire is our own glory and our confidence is in ourselves and our abilities, not in an external power. Submission seems to be our greatest challenge whether it be to authority, those older than us, our spouses, bosses, laws, etc.
When we look at the life of Jesus, is it not amazing to note that the one who deserved to be worshipped as LORD and Savior of all humanity humbled himself so low as to wash the feet of His own disciples?
Take the brothers of Joseph and we see how they submitted themselves to Joseph as his slave because they feared what he would do to them once their father, Israel, passed away.
The Egyptians humbled themselves before Joseph and offered themselves and their families as slaves to Pharaoh as they were left with nothing to give to the Pharaoh to buy grain during the great famine.
This concept of slavery is very different in context to what we today understand it to be. Not being fully aware of the culture and context makes it hard to understand but what I love is the fact that God provided freedom to one and all through this year of Jubilee.
God recognized the oppression of man and provided a way for us to be freed from slavery to debt. This freedom was but a foreshadow of the permanent freedom God blessed us with through His son Jesus Christ.
Jesus came into this world to die for all humanity's sins and provided the bridge for us to be able to enter God's presence for eternity if we accepted the payment of blood He made on our behalf.
While it is hard to understand a sabbatical year every 6 years or pardoning debt after every 49 years, we fully understand the issues of living in debt or being imprisoned to it and dream of ways to get away from its entrapments.
Jesus provided to us a greater freedom and that was the freedom from sin. Sin is not something we can pay off or work off but it is a stain unto death and nothing but the blood of Jesus can wash it away.
The question today is not about God's view or stand on slavery, rather it is about our desire to be freed from sin. Have you received the free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ or are you still living with the life-sapping weight of sin?
In His Loving Service,