Jubilee

Text: Leviticus 25

The Lord commanded through Moses to give the land a sabbatical every seven years. When seven sabbaticals had been observed a trumpet was to be blown on the day of atonement announcing the year of Jubilee. Every 50th year, all servants are released and all property returns to the owner. Thus, no Israelite or Israelite’s land can be owned by another Israelite. The Lord commanded the Sons of Israel to trust him to provide for their needs during these sabbatical years. They are to understand that the land belongs to the Lord. All property can be bought back based on the time until the Jubilee because at the Jubilee, the property reverts to the owner. However, homes in a walled city could be sold and change ownership, except for the home of a Levite. They were not to charge interest on money lended to their countrymen. If a countryman becomes poor and offers his services to another countryman, he may be considered a servant but not a slave and shall be released in the year of Jubilee; however, they could acquire slaves from the aliens among them but not by force. If a countryman sells himself to one of the aliens among them, he could be redeemed by one of his relatives, with the price set by proximity to the year of Jubilee. 

The Lord is the owner of the land and the sons of Israel were his servants. The sons of Israel were to think of themselves as stewards. They had use of the land but did not own the land. They were taking care of the land and had the benefits that the land brought but the true owner was the Lord; therefore, they had to observe the Lord’s commandments regarding its use. A steward is a care taker. The sons of Israel were to think of themselves as servants of the Lord. Therefore, a servant cannot own another servant, but can and should help out a fellow servant who is in need. 

Like the sons of Israel, all Christians should think of the other is a brother or sister. We all of one Father who is in heaven and one teacher the Holy Spirit and one leader Jesus Christ. (Mt. 23:8-10) Like the sons of Israel, we should not exalt ourselves but should serve our brothers and sisters. (Mt. 23:11-12) We have been set free from slavery to sin in the Lord Jesus Christ already but not yet. (Jn. 8:34-36) The year of Jubilee is coming when we will be set free. (Rom. 7:24-25)

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