Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Great Idea... never practiced!

"The land shall not be sold in perpetuity, for the land is mine; with me you are but aliens & tenants."
(Leviticus 25:23)

It was called the Jubliee... and it was unprecedented!  It originated in the concept of Sabbath rest.  We were not made to be machines who work every day without stop.  God knew we needed rest, so He gave us the Sabbath.  One day of rest and rejuvenation.  Our Jewish brothers & sisters have continued that tradition over the centuries (while many of us Christians often fall short of taking the time to rest that we truly need!).

Then God expanded the concept of Sabbath to the LAND.  The land needed to rest, too.  Nutrients needed to be replaced.  Ground that lies fallow for a year yields greater harvests in the future.  So every 7 years, God decrees, the land gets a Sabbath rest, too.  You can eat whatever is produced, but don't "work the land" that 7th year.  This, too, was practiced over the centuries.

But then came the JUBILEE.  After 7 sets of 7 years (49 years total), God declared a GIANT SABBATH REST.  In this 50th year, "You shall proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants.  It shall be a jubilee for you; you shall return, every one of you, to your property & everyone to your family" (Lev. 25:10).  What a revolutionary decree!  Everything and everyone is returned.  Families who met hard times and had to sell their home to survive... get their home back!  People who believed going into slavery was their only way out... are freed!  What an amazing plan!  It's all founded on the idea that ultimately, everything belongs to God.  We are merely tenants & care-takers.

Historians tell us, however, that there is NO evidence that this Jubilee year was ever carried out.  Not one record of one!  Amazing.  And sad.  We humans have a hard time letting go of control, power, & ownership, don't we?  Despite the fact that we've been given so much from above, we tighten the grip on our grubby little fists and refuse to let go.  How sad.  It truly was a great idea... never practiced.

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