From the beginning, God’s people have been set apart and distinguished by a system of living created by God. 1 Peter 2:9 reminds us that we are a chosen generation, a peculiar people, belonging to God!
Sometimes God’s rules or commandments can be viewed as restrictive, but that’s because they act opposite of our natural desires. These carnal desires lead to a life defined by hurt, pain, and devastation.
God’s system is designed to prosper us and not harm us, to give us hope and a future. One of the lessons learned from the Eden experience is that if our trust is not completely established in God, we can be drawn away from Him by our desires.
The lessons of the Sabbath day is relevant to us today. What God established as a day of rest is also the building block of our faith.
In Leviticus 25, the Sabbath expands beyond a single day of rest. In addition to the weekly Sabbath, every seventh year was to be a Sabbath year, and then after seven-sevens, the 50th year would be another year of rest, called the Year of Jubilee. Let’s unpack this two practices.
During the Sabbath Year, the people were to give the land rest from sowing and reaping, to refresh and not to overwork it.
For Israelites, going an entire year without harvesting might cause them to worry about how to feed their family and for the survival of their people. The practice of a weekly and the seventh-year Sabbath was a means of developing trust.
Life will present you with an abundance of opportunities that will challenge your trust in God.
- An unexpected health diagnosis.
- Persistent challenges that seem resilient to prayer and faith.
- The sudden loss of a job or a deadline that seems impossible.
Today is the training ground for tomorrow’s victories!
Developing unwavering trust in God is the only way to get through inexplainable moments in life. There are no shortcuts to developing unbreakable trust. It’s developed through daily obedience to God even when it looks like nothing is changing.
God wants to elevate your trust level and will allow you to face circumstances that look impossible. If you’re in a situation that looks impossible, that means breakthrough is on your horizon! Keep trusting.
God was not done stretching His people with the Sabbath Year. He then instructs them to make every 50th year another Sabbath year. This meant that there would be two consecutive years without sowing or reaping and would require a severe trust in God.
The Year of Jubilee took the Sabbath to a new level. This season followed the Day of Atonement and was signaled by the blast of a ram’s horn.
(On the Day of Atonement, the High Priest would offer sacrifices for the forgiveness of sins and on this day alone would enter the Holy of holies, the place of God’s presence.)
In the Year of Jubilee, not only were you to give the land a year’s rest, but if you bought land or acquired property from another, you were to return it to the original owner. This was a reminder that the land belonged to God; you were stewards of God’s resources.
“For “the earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it.” 1 Corinthians 10:26
When the people arrived at the promised land, God divided the land by tribe, and each family took possession of a portion. Whether you lost your land intentionally or because of bad management, you received a do-over.
God gave you a second chance at stewarding His gift to you. Yet, not only was land to be returned, but if you became a servant of someone because you owed a debt, prior to the Year of Jubilee, your debts were canceled, and you were set free.
This was a demonstration and symbolic of God’s redeeming grace. God’s grace doesn’t discriminate or is limited by my unworthiness. It is abundantly poured out to anyone who calls out to God.
The year of Jubilee foreshadowed God’s salvation and restoration made available to all creation through Jesus’ death and resurrection. Every day we awake to a fresh outpouring of God’s mercy and grace. His forgiveness extends beyond our sin.
The Sabbath practice is an outpouring of the goodness and the grace of God. It’s a reminder that life is not meant to be filled with work but centered around our relationship with God and enjoying the blessings of this relationship.
The Sabbath remind us of God’s provision, faithfulness, and His promises.