Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Mandatory rest!

[from 4/20/09]

"Then the land shall enjoy its sabbath years as long it lies desolate, while you are in the land of your enemies; then the land shall rest, and enjoy its sabbath years."
(Leviticus 26:34)

Leviticus 26 is an interesting chapter. It's the "consequences chapter." God states the consequences for obeying Him and following His commands (aka "blessings"). It also lists an abundance of consequences (aka "penalties") for NOT following God.

Part of God's direction for the people is to treat the land well (including providing a sabbath rest for creation!). If the people sin, and keep sinning without repenting (and changing their actions), eventually the Israelites will be taken away as captives to a foreign land (which indeed happened to Israel: the Babylonian exile of 597-587BCE). When this happens, the land will get its sabbath rest. If the people don't willingly do it, it will happen nonetheless. That's part of the cycle God created!

I'm starting to prepare for my new sermon series: GREEN FAITH. Here's a great example of how God set up creation. Everything needs to rest, from time to time - even the land we live on. If we fail to adequately care for it, eventually it will rest when we're gone (or incapacitated), because we've brought destruction on ourselves for our own actions to creation. How fortunate if we learn to care for this world correctly from the start, eh?

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