Cover to Cover
Reading: Leviticus 23:1-25:55
Focus: Leviticus 25:1-55
We live in a world where the rich are only getting richer, and the poor are only getting poorer. Over the generations, the status of families and businesses have overpowered and domineered over those who simply have not been able to keep up. As they continue to grow from the failure of those smaller than them, their growth expands exponentially as there is close to no way for people to catch up.
However, there was a time in Israel when such realities would have been tolerated or allowed. (Though that being said, it is like the Communist ideal which intertwined with fallen humanity, failed to serve its purpose.) Within the Israelite social order was the “Year of Jubilee”. In short, every 50 years all property bought/sold was to be returned to the family clan; and Israelite slaves were to be released to return to their family property. As such, the land and slaves bought were considered temporary, seen almost as land/people for hire until the Year of Jubilee.
What motivated the Year of Jubilee, interestingly, aside from the social benefits, was that God desired for His people to remember who they were. He says: “The land must not be sold permanently, because the land is mine and you are but aliens and my tenants. Throughout the country that you hold as a possession, you must provide for the redemption of the land.” (vv. 23-24) In regards to native slaves, He says, “Do not make him work as a slave. He is to be treated as a hired worker or a temporary resident among you; he is to work for you until the Year of Jubilee … Because the Israelites are my servants, whom I brought out of Egypt, they must not be sold as slaves.” (vv. 39-43)
As the people of God, we have been bought with a price. From under our bondage to sin, Jesus gave His life to set us free from that land of slavery. We have been given a new lease on life, not so that we might live as we once did, but to live our lives for the glory of God. In our freedom, we are all equal before God, there is no greater, there is no lesser. We were all once slaves, not set free and we are to treat one another as such. Where one needs help, we do so out of gratitude and remembrance of the old life we once had, not for any personal gain.
Next Reading: Leviticus 26:1-27:34