God’s Desire For Us

liberation

The Eternal One addressed Moses on Mount Sinai.

Eternal One: Go, talk with the Israelites and tell them that when you arrive in the land I have promised to give to you, you are to make sure the land observes a Sabbath rest before Me. Plant your fields, take care of your vineyards, and harvest your crops for six years; but when the seventh year arrives, I want the entire land to have a Sabbath rest to Me. Do not plant your fields or prune your vineyards during this seventh year. Do not harvest whatever grows on its own from earlier plantings, and do not pick grapes from the unpruned vines. The entire year is to be a year of Sabbath rest for the land. 6-7 You, your slaves, your hired workers, the outsiders living among you, your domesticated and the wild animals may eat whatever the land produces naturally during the Sabbath year.

You are to count off seven Sabbath years (that’s seven times seven years), which gives you 49 years. After the 49th year is over, sound a ram’s horn across the land in the 50th year on the tenth day of the seventh month. Sound the ram’s horn throughout the land on the Day of Atonement. 10 When the 50th year arrives, sanctify it and declare liberty throughout the land for all who live there—dramatic, radical liberty for all. It is to be your jubilee year. Each of you is allowed to go back to the land that belonged to your ancestors; and each of you may return to your own family. 11-12 The 50th year is to be your jubilee year. Do not plant. Do not harvest anything that grows on its own or pick grapes from the unpruned vines. You may eat what the land produces naturally. For it is a jubilee, a special, sacred time for you

Eternal One: 13 Everyone will return to his ancestral property during the year of jubilee. 14 If you sell something to a friend or buy something from your neighbor, do it honestly. 15 When you lease property from a friend, you should pay only for the time you get to use it. He will base the price on the number of harvest years remaining until the jubilee returns. 16 You will raise the price if the jubilee year is far away. You will lower the price if the year is near, for what you are really buying is the number of harvests you can get in before the next jubilee. 17 Do not cheat each other. Instead, fear the God who has power over you; for I am the Eternal One, your God.

18 So follow My directives and live by My rules; as you do, you and your peoplewill most certainly be secure in the land I will give you. 19 The land will produce an abundance of food, and you will have all you need to eat and live safely in the land. (Leviticus 25:1-19, THE VOICE from www.biblegateway.com) 

In today’s passages we find a common theme. Liberation for those that are dedicated in their discipleship and living with God. Specifically in this passage from Leviticus we an incredible gift from God himself that is all but absent from our Western culture here in America. The year of Jubilee. To explain even further what this is I found an excerpt from The Voice translation. It is as follows:

The year of jubilee is a far-reaching idea in the ancient world. In the 50th year, land that has been sold to pay debts during the preceding 49 years returns to its original owners. Israelites who had to sell themselves into slavery to pay debts are set free. All debts are declared “paid in full.” The jubilee is a regular reminder to God’s covenant people that every acre of ground, every soul belongs to God, not to those rich enough to buy them. Actually land cannot be sold; it can only be leased in 50-year increments, from jubilee to jubilee. So God’s law protects the welfare of future generations by preventing the permanent transfer of land and wealth outside the control of the family.

What an intriguing idea this year of jubilee is. Can you imagine what this would look in the 21st century? That every piece of property doesn’t really belong to anyone really, in fact nothing really belongs to anyone, it only belongs to God. We have lots of things in our culture today and I cannot help but think that the more we have, the we have not.

They say that possessions is nine tenths of the law, but what do we really possess? The more we have, the more we separate ourselves from what really matters. This reminds of the passage in the book of Acts at the end of chapter 4 starting in verse 32.

During those days, the entire community of believers was deeply united in heart and soul to such an extent that they stopped claiming private ownership of their possessions. Instead, they held everything in common. 33 The apostles with great power gave their eyewitness reports of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. Everyone was surrounded by an extraordinary grace. (Acts 4:32-33, THE VOICE translation from www.biblegateway.com) 

They stopped claiming private property ownership, but were united in what they possessed. In other translations of this passage we are guided to understand that they were so inspired by the apostles teaching that they sold their homes and gave the profit to the community of believers.

Does this mean we need to sell everything we have? Do we need to sell our homes to be in the Kingdom of God?

NO! Understand that the Holy Spirit changes everything. Because of their uniting in heart and mind and soul, they simply didn’t want anything else, but nothing else mattered because they had Jesus. Jesus was far more than anything we could every possess in this world. When you have Christ you simply don’t need things. Think about what you “possess?” Having things in and of itself is not bad, but if we have so much that those things become more than things to us but an idol, a source of life…that’s a problem.

The more we have doesn’t mean the better life we have, but the best life is the way of Christ. At the end of the day that is all that matters. God desires for you and I to be free. To live, to love, to extend grace and peace and to not be slaves to our possessions.

Amen.

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