Leviticus 25:1-22

25 The Lord then spoke to Moses [a]at Mount Sinai, saying, “Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘When you come into the land which I shall give you, then the land shall have a sabbath to the Lord. Six years you shall sow your field, and six years you shall prune your vineyard and gather in its crop, but during the seventh year the land shall have a sabbath rest, a sabbath to the Lord; you shall not sow your field nor prune your vineyard. Your harvest’s [b]aftergrowth you shall not reap, and your grapes of untrimmed vines you shall not gather; the land shall have a sabbatical year. All of you shall have the sabbath products of the land for food; yourself, and your male and female slaves, and your hired man and your foreign resident, those who live as aliens with you. Even your cattle and the animals that are in your land shall have all its crops to eat.

‘You are also to count off seven sabbaths of years for yourself, seven times seven years, so that you have the time of the seven sabbaths of years, namely, forty-nine years. You shall then sound a ram’s horn abroad on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the day of atonement you shall sound a horn all through your land.10 You shall thus consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim [c]a release through the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you, [d]and each of you shall return to his own property, [e]and each of you shall return to his family. 11 You shall have the fiftieth year as a jubilee; you shall not sow, nor reap its aftergrowth, nor gather in from its untrimmed vines. 12 For it is a jubilee; it shall be holy to you. You shall eat its crops out of the field.

13 ‘On this year of jubilee each of you shall return to his own property. 14 If you make a sale, moreover, to your friend or buy from your friend’s hand, you shall not wrong one another. 15 Corresponding to the number of years after the jubilee, you shall buy from your [f]friend; he is to sell to you according to the number of years of crops. 16 In proportion to the [g]extent of the years you shall increase its price, and in proportion to the fewness of the years you shall diminish its price, for it is a number of crops he is selling to you. 17 So you shall not wrong one another, but you shall [h]fear your God; for I am the Lord your God.

18 ‘You shall thus observe My statutes and keep My judgments, so as to carry them out, that you may live securely on the land. 19 Then the land will yield its produce, so that you can eat your fill and live securely on it. 20 But if you say, “What are we going to eat on the seventh year [i]if we do not sow or gather in our crops?” 21 then I will so order My blessing for you in the sixth year that it will bring forth the crop for three years. 22 When you are sowing the eighth year, you can still eat old things from the crop, eating the old until the ninth year when its crop comes in.

This was, I think, a pretty neat bit of the law. Farmers in our day rotate our fields (or ought to at least, hopefully they still do), but for the Israelites, they let all the land rest for an entire year. Such that it was only natural to ask the question in verse 20, “What are we going to eat on the seventh year…?”

The promises of God are pretty amazing, and he flat out tells them, if they will honor his commands, then he will take care of them. Not only will he give them a “bumper” crop, but he will give them a triple-sized harvest. That’s quite a promise indeed. When God asks us to do something, you can be sure he will provide for it.

One other thing I always appreciate is the “year of Jubilee” that came very fifty years. Unlike in our society, where one can squander their inheritance, property for the Israelites was a permanent inheritance. You could sell it, but it was always with the knowledge that it was, at most, for forty-nine years. God knew then that we can be quite foolish with our money and possessions, and so he took care that there would be a reset every 50 years to give everyone a fresh start.

God is indeed a God of fresh starts, no matter what we’ve done, He always gives us a second chance. He loves us too much to call it quits and be done with us. While there is breath, there is hope.

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