February 21, 2022
The land, moreover, shall not be sold permanently, for the land is Mine; for you are but aliens and sojourners with Me. (Leviticus 25:23)
In the beginning of the Israelite’s occupation of the Promised Land, God put certain rules in order. They were rules that would provide for the maximum yield of the land and would also ensure against a worldly, materialistic view of the land and all we possess.
THE SABBATICAL YEAR
… was observed every 7 years, giving the land itself a rest for greatest longevity. The people asked what they would eat on that 7th year. God’s answer? “I will provide!” He said, “I will so order My blessing for you in the sixth year that it will bring for the crop for 3 years.”
This moment not only blessed the land and stewarded it well, but it forced the people back into utter dependence upon God. They had to trust that God would provide in the sabbatical year, and He did.
THE JUBILEE YEAR
On the 50th year (after 7, 7-year periods) the Jubilee year was to be observed. During this year all the land holdings were to be returned to their original owners. Even if a man had a loss, he received back his land. This ensured that each of the 12 tribes would be equitably served and that no vast holdings of land could be accumulated by one man or tribe. This was a prescription, every 50 years, against materialism. And a reminder that the land ultimately belonged to God.
These practices were to be a constant reminder to the people that we are but “sojourners and aliens” on this earth. God made the world, and He owns it all. We have the privilege and joy of being temporary stewards of a small portion. We are waiting for a better kingdom whose “architect and builder is God.”
The New Testament is filled with thoughts about this, reminding us that we are merely stewards of something that is owned by God and that a man’s life does not consist of the “abundance of things he possesses.” Some of the richest men are those who are rich in their relationships with God and man. They have treasures that can never be taken away.
If we trust Him and follow His leadership, we will have all we need. Jesus said, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33).
It was true then, and it is true now.
Father, thank You for promising to meet my needs. Help me have a proper, Biblical view of the things of this world. Keep my hands loose. Give me the courage and grace to simply follow You explicitly and trust You fully. Let my life demonstrate the faithfulness of our providing God!
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