Scripture Reading: Leviticus 25:1-26:12 / Mark 16:1-20 / Psalm 33:1-11
October 26, 2013 may not be significant to you but it is a very special day of celebration for me because my first granddaughter, Avery, was born that day! We like to celebrate anniversaries, birthdays and holidays with special cards, gifts and even parties. There are some monumental years that receive greater recognition like the “30” year-old birthday and the “50” year wedding anniversary.
God was into special days too. He established a weekly Sabbath, yearly feasts, a seventh year Sabbath and a special “50” year celebration…”The Year of Jubilee”. “Consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you…” (Leviticus 25:10)
The year of Jubilee was a culmination of all of the weekly and 7th year Sabbaths. Israel was to “rest” on the weekly Sabbath and do no work. They were also commanded to let the land “rest” every 7th year, with no sowing or reaping. “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.” (25:4,5)
To keep the weekly Sabbath required discipline but to keep the yearly Sabbath took an enormous amount of faith! Normally, they would plant their crops and harvest them. The harvest would provide food for an entire year. Israel was commanded to neither sow nor harvest during the Sabbath year; resulting in a year of no production or food. To obey God’s command could result in starvation.
God assured Israel they would enjoy supernatural provisions that would replace their lost crops and harvest. “I will send you such a blessing in the sixth year that the land will yield enough for three years. While you plant during the eighth year, you will eat from the old crop and will continue to eat from it until the harvest of the ninth year comes in.” (25:21,22) God provided a 3-year harvest in one year!
To follow God’s ways may seem illogical to the world but we don’t live our lives in the confidence of the “natural” but in the provisions of the “supernatural”. God always honors our faith and obedience, even when we wait and rest in Him! The art of resting in God is lost in our “go-go” world of “more-more”. The Sabbath day and year were designed to be a blessing for man - a time for God’s favor to be displayed.
A culmination of God’s favor came during the Year of Jubilee. The land was to rest, captives were freed and inheritance was restored to rightful heirs. It was a year of liberty where families were united and strengthened. Debts were forgiven, slaves were set free; it was a year of restoration of hearts and hope! We serve a God who works outside the lines of logic; He is not restricted by the natural. The next time His ways seem beyond your capabilities, remember He is the God of the Sabbath and Jubilee. He is faithful… you can trust and “rest” in Him!
Pastor James Clark has pastored Calvary Assembly since 1985. He is blessed with his wife Yvonne, six children, two son-in-laws, a beautiful granddaughter and hopefully many more grandchildren to follow!