A year of Jubilee came every fiftieth year. It was not only a year of rest but it also provided a new beginning. A time when things could go back to “the way they were.”
We don’t celebrate the year of Jubilee but we do look forward to “the way things will be.” Because Jesus died and rose again, we can celebrate a new beginning with an eternal rest.
Set this year apart as holy, a time to proclaim freedom throughout the land for all who live there. It will be a jubilee year for you, when each of you may return to the land that belonged to your ancestors and return to your own clan. Leviticus 25:10
God considered the Sabbath day as a very important day. The Old Testament mandated that everyone in the land observed it. It was just as important as the other nine commandments.
Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the Lord your God. On that day no one in your household may do any work. Exodus 20:8-10
Every seventh day God expected everyone in the land to rest on that day, no matter who they were. Including the children, servants, livestock, and even foreigners living among them.
The seriousness of keeping the Sabbath was reflected by the penalty for those who didn’t keep it.
You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but the seventh day must be a Sabbath day of complete rest, a holy day dedicated to the Lord. Anyone who works on that day must be put to death. Exodus 35:2
Every Generation Must Follow His Mandate
Through the prophet Ezekiel, the Lord spoke to a new generation. He said they must follow His decrees and pay attention to His regulations. Then He followed up with this statement;
And keep my Sabbath days holy, for they are a sign to remind you that I am the Lord your God. Ezekiel. 20:20
I said all that because the Sabbath lays the foundation of where the year of Jubilee came from. Every seven days people needed to rest. Then every seven years came another type of rest.
When you have entered the land I am giving you, the land itself must observe a Sabbath rest before the Lord every seventh year. Leviticus 25:2
So, every seventh year, God did not allow the children of Israel to plant any crops at all. Neither did He permit them to pick any grapes.
During the seventh year the land must have a Sabbath year of complete rest. It is the Lord’s Sabbath. Do not plant your fields or prune your vineyards during that year. And don’t store away the crops that grow on their own or gather the grapes from your unpruned vines. The land must have a year of complete rest. Leviticus 25:4-5
He went on to say they could eat whatever the land produced on its own. Then after the seventh Sabbath year, the Lord proclaimed the year of Jubilee.
You must count off seven Sabbath years, seven sets of seven years, adding up to forty-nine years in all. Then on the Day of Atonement in the fiftieth year, blow the ram’s horn loud and long throughout the land. Leviticus 25:8-9
The Year of Jubilee, a New Beginning
In the year of Jubilee all property and houses sold by Israelites must be returned to the original owners.
In the Year of Jubilee each of you may return to the land that belonged to your ancestors. Leviticus 25:13
If an Israelite sold himself and his family into slavery, they could be freed.
If any Israelites have not been bought back by the time the Year of Jubilee arrives, they and their children must be set free at that time. Leviticus 25:54
The land would also sit dormant for another year. Meaning nothing was planted in the 49th year because it was a Sabbath year nor the 50th year, the year of Jubilee.
So for two straight years, the Israelites planted no crops. God quickly asked this question before they could ask it.
But you might ask, ‘What will we eat during the seventh year, since we are not allowed to plant or harvest crops that year?’ Leviticus 25:20
One thing I have learned during my many years of serving the Lord is this; It’s ok to ask the Lord a question but it’s never ok to question the Lord’s decisions. Look at His answer to that question.
Be assured that I will send my blessing for you in the sixth year, so the land will produce a crop large enough for three years. Leviticus 25:21
He continued by saying; When you plant your fields in the eighth year, you will still be eating from the large crop of the sixth year. In fact, you will still be eating from that large crop when the new crop is harvested in the ninth year. Leviticus 25:22
The Principles of Jubilee
So, should the year of Jubilee be important to us? The principles of it should. To obey God, Israel needed to trust Him. We also must trust Him because it all comes down to a matter of faith.
When the trumpet blew on the Day of Atonement in the fiftieth year, look what God provided.
A time of rest, freedom from bondage, God’s abundant provision, and freedom from debt.
Everything God promised and delivered to the Israelites we also get through Jesus.
- We can rest in Him: “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28
- He delivers us from bondage: Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free. Galatians 5:1
- God’s abundant provision: And God will generously provide all you need. 2 Corinthians 9:8
- We receive freedom debt: He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. Colossians 2:14
Lord, thank you for meeting our every need according to your riches in glory.
Check out these other posts written on verses in Leviticus
- Unintentional Sin, What Happens When I Commit One?
- Focus Your Life On The Requirements Of God
- May The Blessings Of The Lord Be Upon You
- The Feast Of Unleavened Bread
- Confess Your Sins To God
- Is The Grain Offering Relevant for Us Today?
- The Ultimate Sacrifice For Sinful man
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