Thanks to my pastor, I have had it drilled into my head that God sets up rhythms for us. Yesterday we talked about the Sabbath being a sacred assembly but it also serves as a weekly reboot to help us get back on track before we’ve gotten too far. And I am so grateful that God knows us well enough to know that we need that. But I also think He does it for Himself as well, because He doesn’t want us to get too far off track. He created an order to things and He know better than anyone how corrosive time can be to the original intention of something. So I think we are also seeing in these Old Testament passages the safeguards and systems God puts in place so His order can stay in tact as best as possible with time and people working against Him. In these two chapters, there are a few verses that seem to perfectly sum up the overall theme we’ve been reading.
“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.” ~ Leviticus 25: 54, 55
Every 50 years, God resets His system to bring it back to how it started. 50 years is a long time, but I think about how much my parents and their parents decisions have impacted the life I have lived thus far. This reminds me a lot of generational blessings and generational sins. Have you ever seen in your own family, or someone else’s, a sin or stronghold that is clearly passed down generation to generation? In these situations it is clear how nice a restart button could be every 50 years to break those cycles. And they’re not always intentional. Fear is a powerful thing that we can pass on without every recognizing it. I don’t think we are intentionally passing down our sins and bad habits, but I think that they become such a routine that we train our kids in it without even thinking (not that there aren’t cases which it is intentional- because sadly there are).
The Year of Jubilee was a resetting. Like it said, land that had been sold returned to its original owner this year. If there was someone like the Prodigal Son we see in the New Testament that squandered the families wealth, at least the land would be returned every 50 years. And the land was the source of livelihood. It was a financial restart. They had another opportunity to do things better this time around. But it was also a restart for those that became wealthy and were more fortunate. But more than a restart of wealth, it was a restart so that each person had to rely on God for provision. In a way this Year of Jubilee forced everyone to reset their gauge on who they were relying on. Following a Sabbath year, the Year of Jubilee would be the second full year in a row that they were not allowed to work the fields. But God promised the that He uld give them an abundance ahead of time to get them through these two years. For two years, God was responsible for their provision- literally.
The other thing the Year of Jubilee did was it helped cut ties with the past so God could more easily do something in the future. It is also a beautiful picture ofGod’s heart towards us. There is no situation bad enough that we can’t get out of with Him. And He constantly gives us a clean slate to start fresh. God’s rhythms always include grace to move back to His heart and His ways.
Tomorrow’s Reading: 26, 27